Several groups call for T-Mobile-Sprint merger to be subject to House hearings

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After facing a Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel earlier this year, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger may soon be under the scrutiny of another committee.

A group of 14 organizations has sent a letter to Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to ask them to hold hearings regarding T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed merger. The group is urging Nadler and Pallone to announce soon that they’re scheduling hearings in the first quarter of 2019, which isn’t a surprise since T-Mobile and Sprint have said that they expect the deal to close in the first half of 2019.

“Announcing hearings to examine the single largest pending wireless telecommunications merger, and one of the largest in the nation’s history, would be an excellent first step to implementing your vision for stronger antitrust enforcement, protecting consumers, promoting competition, and standing up for American workers,” the letter explains.

The 14 organizations that signed this letter include American Antitrust Institute, Center for Media Justice, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, Consumer Reports, National Consumer Law Center, Public Knowledge, and Rural Wireless Association.

Neither Nadler nor Pallone appear to have responded to this letter yet. However, Pallone requested a hearing on the T-Mobile-Sprint merger earlier this year, saying that the Energy and Commerce Committee has “a responsibility to understand the potential effects of this merger on consumers, workers, and the wireless market.” Other aspects of the deal that must be examined include the control over the combined company by foreign entities, how the merger will affect 5G deployment, and what will happen to wireless prices.

The proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger is still being examined by regulators, and the FCC recently said that it’ll resume its 180-day shot clock on its review of the deal after receiving new documents from T-Mo and Sprint related to the merger. Both carriers have said that they expect the merger to close in the first half of 2019, and T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter recently suggested that the deal could be completed as soon as the first quarter of next year.

You can read the full letter from the 14 organizations to Nadler and Pallone right here.

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  • aglee89

    Honest question. Does anyone see this falling through for any reason other than Verizon and AT&T pulling strings with politicians to stop it?

    • dcmanryan

      50/50 here. There’s enough proof north of the USA to show less doesn’t equal more and with AT&T and Verizon already higher on price what incentive does T-Mobile have but to be a few dollars cheaper? When 5g becomes the norm prices will soar and they’ll just blame it on the infrastructure costs. I’m totally against this merger and have been from day one. But Sprint will fail regardless they say, good, let it fail. This isn’t a Government bailout and using there merger as a way to save Sprint shouldn’t even be in the conversation. T-Mobile’s pricing has steadily crept up since I joined them in March of 2016 and the deals they used to have, have slowly gone away and are continuing to do so. Everything is add a line now and it’s because they need to keep showing high positive growth per quarter. They had by far the worst deals this year for Black Friday and Cyber Monday for existing customers. I could go on and on.

      Rather T-Mobile works best where you’re at or not, AT&T/Verizon are still miles ahead of them in coverage as a whole.

      • Acdc1a

        A few things. First, T-Mobile blows AT&T out of the water in the majority of places I travel. There are some places where that isn’t accurate, but T-Mobile’s network of today is absolutely on par with at least AT&T.

        Next, Canada’s a bad example. They don’t have the cable companies getting in on the action to drive prices lower…yet. Verizon will learn a valuable lesson about letting Charter and ComShaft onto their network for pennies.

        Finally, if you think prices are higher now, wait until Softbank gives up on Sprint, allows them to fail, and AT&T and Verizon pick up a majority of their assets.

        • dcmanryan

          Either way we will lose. Prices are going up. Where I am (Utah) T-Mobile is the fastest where it works but once your South of Utah County is dismal. If Sprint fails, what makes you think T-Mobile wouldn’t bid and possibly win some of the spectrum? The more the merrier when it comes to cell providers in my book. Give people a choice and the best will win.

        • Sharti24

          Tmobile is only faster because they have 1/2 as many customers as Att and verizon

        • g2a5b0e

          If that’s the only reason why, then explain to us why Sprint is the slowest. By your logic, they should be the fastest.

          Correlation does not imply causation.

        • Sharti24

          I guess “only” was a bad word to use. Sprint refuses to utilize all of their spectrum or they would be faster than the other three carriers

        • Robert Roll

          except they would lack coverage in Rural areas sure they have a ton of 2.5Ghz Spectrum which works great in urban areas but they lack low band coverage they have some 850mhz in some areas but T-Mobile has 600mhz covering 100% of the US so if you mix the two together.

        • Acdc1a

          T-Mobile would certainly be outbid. Sure, they probably would get some scraps but in this case a stronger 3rd competitor is the best outcome.

        • dcmanryan

          Why do you say they’d be outbid? You have to remember they were going to merge with Sprint, that’s not cheap. Put that money into buying some of the spectrum. They have the cash to do so but it could turn into a bidding war. Still it would be cheaper than acquiring Sprint as a whole I would assume and if not then why didn’t Verizon and AT&T make a run at it??

        • Robert Roll

          if Sprint is going to fail i’d rather see T-Mobile get there spectrum licenses then Verizon or AT&T get it… remember when AT&T would not offer unlimited data unless you had DirecTV and no Hotspot data… and Verizon told everyone they was stupid for wanting unlimited data

      • Jay Holm

        Since you are against the merger, then boooo you!!!

      • Sharti24

        So you’re in favor of letting the government decide if private sector companies are allowed to merge or not?

        Allowing them to merge is not creating a monopoly, it’s allowing Tmobile to finally be able to compete with Att and verizon

        • dcmanryan

          Well, they will finally be on par with the big two and so will their prices. Save this thread, screen shot it, whatever you wish. I promise you prices in a few years are going to be way up there and I’ll be here to tell you and all the rest that I told you so.

        • Francisco Peña

          If TMo prices creep to Verizon, I’ll be leaving Tmo for VZW.

        • Sharti24

          Of course prices will go up with 5G. You get what you pay for

  • if all else fails, at some point they will say its racist…

    • bkat11

      That’s chapter 6 in the left wing playbook

      • Winstons

        Chapter 6? I was thinking closer to Chapter 2…

    • spartanjet

      Have to pay off 45’s new improved Swamp with extra corruption. So tired of “”Winning””

  • Robert Roll

    I’d Rather see T-Mobile get Sprints Spectrum Licenses then Sprint fail and those licenses get bought up by Verizon and AT&T. remember when Verizon said people where stupid and do not need unlimited data. T-Mobiles network got better and forced them to change there ways.

    • Jose Mendoza

      Sprint isn’t even momentarily failing to a point where they couldn’t repair everything to compete. They just choose not to because their shareholders which are shared among various carriers, want to monopolize and conquer for more short term profit.

  • Phil

    The swamp needs to get their cut

  • Nearmsp

    A free market without concentration of market is not leftist. Capital markets depend on competition and thus anti trust is important. Chairman of Japanese Soft Bank, Mr. Son has praised Trump and along with German majority owned T-mobile will reduce competition. I can understand Sprint customers wanting T-mobile buying up Sprint. T-mobile customers are hoping more spectrum will give them Verizon quality and coverage at Sprint prices. No one spends billions to continue to sell plans cheaply. Mergers reduce choice, lowers competition and increases prices. That is Econ 101.

    • Jose Mendoza

      A free market isn’t free when it doesn’t protect the consumer and small business from unethical activity of the corporations who supply them. The majority of the country knows regulations help everyone from anyone in the system that wants to do unethical practices. It’s just how they took the true meaning of pro life out of it as well. You can’t stop abortions so why not reduce them and make them safe if it happens at the same time.
      Many people say they want a free market really mean that they want socialism for the rich, plain and simple.

      • Nearmsp

        Rich are never affected by higher prices. Average Americans who want lower cost plans are on Sprint and T-mobile. They are the ones who will pay more after the merger. The new T-mobile will keep prices just below Verizon plans. But the long party and Tuesday giveaways will end within a year of the merger. Anyone remembers the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite radio? They said prices would go down. As soon as the merger went through the monopoly satellite radio tagged on a music fee even if you subscribe only for news channels. I dropped the service on both our cars. Likewise if the merger goes through and T-mobile is not giving value, I will be on Verizon in a Jiffy. I have a Verizon hot spot for my business and know how good their coverage is outside the cities. I usually run my T-mobile on Wi-Fi calling through my Verizon hotspot in these areas. I will just have to yank the next generation of adults still on my plan.