Some states may file lawsuit to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger

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Earlier this week, we learned the Department of Justice’s antitrust chief is open to hearing T-Mobile and Sprint’s 5G arguments in favor of their merger, which was good news for those hoping that the deal gets approved. Now that’s being countered with some not-so-great news for the merger.

Several states are considering a lawsuit to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger on antitrust grounds, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. New York and California are said to be leading a group of more than a dozen states that are examing T-Mo and Sprint’s deal and its effect on competition. The states have allegedly hired economists to help them in their review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

T-Mobile and Sprint would control around 30 percent of the U.S. wireless market, but that number would be higher in some states, and that reportedly has some state officials concerned. It’s also said that some state officials are worried that political considerations could influence the Department of Justice’s decisions on mergers. The DOJ is conducting an antitrust review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The states may decide to sue an try to block the merger, even if the DOJ approves it.

While the FCC has an informal 180-day shot clock on its review of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger — which is paused at day 121 — there’s no telling when the DOJ might make a decision on the deal. T-Mobile and Sprint have said that they expect their merger to be approved in the first half of the year, but recent reports have said that the DOJ’s formal decision on the deal could be months away.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • mikeZo6

    Merge would be great for 5G But at what cost to consumers ??

    CHECK THIS OUT FOUND ON TMOBILE OPEN INTERNET (DATA) POLICY
    Your plan includes access to the technologies, features, and services that you purchased when you activated your account. You may have temporary access to new services while they are being tested or made available for purchase. Temporary access to some new technologies, services, or features ( 5G) may provide noticeable benefits, like significantly increased speeds. Your temporary access may end at any time, but we may begin offering access for purchase

    • nathan

      so what that’s for their 5g home service that they are testing right now.

      • Jarod Weaver

        Why are you believing their propaganda. Lesson 1 with businesses. They are screwed up through their core and not should be believed with any word they say unless if it is a legally binding agreement with them, price hikes for example.

        • marque2

          When has TMobile hurt us in the past?

        • Jarod Weaver

          Lots of broken promises over quality of Services and bandwidth that came right from their corporate offices.

          Talking about businesses in general. Don’t drink their Kool-Aid. Just because you think they didn’t hurt us then means nothing. All that matters is now. Buying MetroPCS was nothing. Just a smaller CDMA provider. This merge is on the national stage.

        • nathan

          t mobile has never hurt me actually the opposite they had a clerical error and refunded me the cost of my phone by accident. they told me to keep the money and the phone as a gift as their system wouldn’t allow them to reclaim their money.

        • Jarod Weaver

          One experience isn’t enough to overcome years and years of lies and scams performed to millions of their own customers. That’s right. Not just me.

  • StankyChikin

    Sprint is dead..

    • nathan

      agreed that’s why the merger should go threw.

    • Jarod Weaver

      proof?

  • Stephen J. Sundberg

    IL?? I hope you are paying attention!

  • Philip

    Funny they dont block Delta and NWA merge, etc etc

  • Most of Sprints bands are in the 1900 and 2.5Ghz, which is why they always have the worst network. 2.5Ghz you almost have to be line of sight which is why wimax failed horribly. 1900 just doesn’t have the penetration, so I’m sure Sprint woukd love to merge with TMobile who has a ton of low freq sign also to use. TMobile does not need Sprint to push their 5g, in fact they are taking on a ton of debt because of Sprint. It all has to do with cusotmers as they want the joint numbers of being right on ATT a and Verizon’s backdoor. Here in South Florida I literally don’t know a single person who doesn’t have metro or tmobile. I hope this is blocked.

    • nathan

      T Mobile wants sprints ghz band and tech for local 5g services. the bad part is if sprint doesn’t merge with T Mobile sprint will eventually go bankrupt causing there to be only 3 networks anyways. the problem is without the merger T Mobile wont be able to compete with att and verizon.

      • dtam

        I doubt Sprint will go bankrupt. They may need to sell assets or merge with a non-mobile carrier such as Dish but they have too many assets to just fold

        • marque2

          Um yeah – they may need to merge to be viable – how about say with TMobile?

      • Jarod Weaver

        Proof?

        • nathan

          t mobile said it themselves

        • Jarod Weaver

          Keep drinking your propaganda Kool-Aid. Businesses all say whatever they want to bend the truth in their favor and you know that yourself. So stop saying otherwise with this one particular because it won’t be different from any other.

      • marque2

        And when Sprint goes up for auction AT&T and Verizon will make sure to buy up the spectrum so TMobile won’t get it and can’t compete.

    • Jarod Weaver

      Nor does Sprint need T-Mobile. Sprint will have quite a bit more spectrum through CDMA decommissioning. Even T-Mobile is third in terms of size, quality will always be at the bottom.

    • marque2

      5g runs best on higher bandwidth in micro cells. 2.5 gigahertz is considered the minimum for effective 5g. 5g really needs 7ghz to 15ghz.

      5g will use a lot of microcells rather than sparsely located towers. It is a whole different ball game than 2g-4g. At 600mhz where TMobile can currently apply 5g they get a mere 10% advantage on a band that can not send much data anyway. Granted 10% isn’t nothing and 5g is a bit more energy efficient at towers but that won’t get you the gigabit speeds.

  • vrm

    oh, the dreaded “economists” ! I thought they only had liars…oops- lawyers on their side.

    • Deadeye37

      Find someone with credentials that will spin the story you want to tell. Sounds like one in the same.

  • HeatFan786

    Hope the merger fails.

    • nathan

      do research before you speak. without this deal sprint goes bankrupt and t mobile wont be able to compete against att and verizon.

      • HeatFan786

        Where is your proof Sprint will go bankrupt and T-Mobile won’t be able to compete against AT&T and Verizon? What has T-Mobile been doing since AT&T tried to buy the magenta carrier? T-Mobile helped disrupt the industry and positioned itself as the 3rd largest carrier in the US w/ a lot of growth.

        Less competition between 3 carriers isn’t healthy for the industry. Would you want to be an oligopoly like Canada?

        • Robert Roll

          The only reason T-Mobile was able to disrupt the industry due to the failed merger was because there was a breakup clause where AT&T had to fork over cash and spectrum to T-Mobile.. there is no such clause if Sprint and T-Mobile fail to merg

        • Jarod Weaver

          This merge would likely lead to the end of the industry disruption.

        • marque2

          Without it there will be two 5g networks and one also ran network and a bankrupt phone service. That would be much better for competition at the top end.

        • Jarod Weaver

          So far you no one here has proven bankruptcy is eminent.

        • marque2

          Maybe you should learn a bit about business, a company can not have a deficit forever without massive growth.

          No-one said it would be gone tomorrow – but if you look at the situation 3 – 5, years and the company won’t be able to support a nationwide network any longer. If there is a major recession like 2009 its gone.

          But keep dreaming that Sprint is the next Amazon, and pretend that all is well.

        • Jarod Weaver

          Obviously you know nothing so I’m done dealing with you. You are failing to prove your own statements.

          Business that have lied:
          Comcast
          AT&T
          Verizon
          (Maybe Later) T-Mobile
          Should I continue this list.

        • marque2

          Well Sprint has been bleeding money for years and if not for SoftBank would have been gone a few years ago but other than that. You could have easily researched how awful Sprint has been doing on the Internet.

        • Jarod Weaver

          Yes but you can’t prove bankruptcy was eminent. Even though they were getting close. They never filed Chapter 11

        • nathan

          easy look at the stock prices and debt ratios it is clear they will fold in a couple years or sooner without the t mobile merger. t mobile only controls 17% of the market compared to ATT and Verizon 30+% each market control. the government can fix this issue with the top 3 being forced to network share with prepaid providers at 10% above break even pricing. this will allow the prepaid market to grow with a few eventually breaking into the postpaid market.

        • Jarod Weaver

          Stock price doesn’t always have to contribute to it. However, their are companies with similar stock prices to Sprint and close amount of debt and then going just fine. Their ships are still sailing and they are actually doing ok like Sprint actually making profits which they are doing. Prepaid is starting to become a thing of the past and obsolete compared to any of the big 4 networks that they run on, in terms of features offered.

      • Jarod Weaver

        As HeatFan786 said, where is your proof? Companies can say whatever they want to the public, regardless if it is true or false.

        • nathan

          easy look at the stock prices and debt ratios it is clear they will fold in a couple years or sooner without the t mobile merger. soft bank will file bankruptcy on behalf of sprint rather than save it. it’s because sprints debt is $40+ billion and soft bank cant afford that. that’s why softbank will just wipe their hands clean of sprint if the merger doesn’t go threw. the choice is merger or chapter 7/11.

      • Clifton K. Morris

        Everyone said the same of T-Mobile when it was ranked in fourth place.

        The problem with Sprint, as I see it, is that it remains a company interested in selling phones and devices; it hasn’t figured out how to sell service yet, and you can see that fundamental flaw in how Marcelo Claure was promoted to CEO.

        Remember- Marcelo had a fulfillment company called BrightStar that shipped phones to stores or wherever they were needed.

        When Sprint teaches it’s employees that all service problems are fixed with a new handset or device, engineering costs are an afterthought. In the 2000s, Sprint was the first to sell its infrastructure (towers), and later, it laid off its engineering staff (most Sprint employees became Ericsson staff employees.)

        Sprint’s focus on offering free phones for over two decades time (often with cash-back rebates) have caused it to become a company whose CDMA service can’t compete.

        To compare, 3GPP/LTE technology requires tower spacing to be closer whereas CDMA has cell-breathing issues where coverage areas can change, and actually shrink on an hour-by-hour basis as capacity is used up and customers use the service.

        As Gigi Sohn pointed out during the Recent Congressional Hearing, SoftBank has $Billions it just doesn’t want to spend it yet. A merger is less capital intensive, and easier on Softbank’s wallet.

        Watching the hearing reminded me when the auto companies went to congress and wanted to merge. We all remember how that went..!

        • marque2

          TMobile was able to extract money and spectrum from ATT when that merger failed. That is how it was done. I don’t see such a propitious gift to TMobile coming again soon.

          TMobile doesn’t have the bandwidth to compete. They need to merge with Sprint or Dish network to gain access to that spectrum.

        • Nearmsp

          The breakup fee went to T-mobile parent Deustche Telecom not T-mobile USA. Secondly. T-mobile spends $4-$5 billion per year. Since 2011 the company has spent some $20 billion in upgrades and infrastructure. So the $4 billion breakup fee, even if it went to T-mobile is insignificant. If T-mobile does not have the bandwidth, it can rent capacity. It is no justification for creating monopolies and oligopolies.

  • Nearmsp

    Mergers do reduce competition and improve pricing power. So when the news came that states will sue to block this merger, price of AT&T and Verizon fell a lot! Smart money realized that pricing power will go away and dumped these stocks before dumping Sprint and T-mobile stocks. On the whole, it seems the opposition is only going up and as the election nears, it will be very hard for Trump political Hack Ajit Pai to rubber stamp this merger. He has already delivered the removal of net neutrality to Trump. No doubt every one loves Legera, but this merger is much bigger than him and is really not in the interest of consumers.

  • Tony Chen

    sprint is desperate their service sucks and nobody wants their service, they are trying to lease their spectrum now running out of cash.

  • marque2

    The states want bribe money.

    • Nearmsp

      If they kill the merger there is no money. Maybe they are worried for citizens of their state who will have to pay higher monthly charges due to lower competition.

  • mikeZo6

    Look remember they said Tmo is going under Parent company want to SELL cause they never made profit Tmo got NEW CEO JL and now look at Tmo doing Good.
    Same with Sprint get rid of current CEO and get someone who can turn Sprint around just like Tmo DID
    Neither Tmo or Sprint need merge to both be separate and Good competitive companies.
    NEED 4 WIRELESS CARRIES ALWAYS

    • Robert Roll

      Only difference on the failed T-Mobile AT&T merger there was a breakup clause where AT&T had to fork over Cash and Spectrum to T-Mobile why they was able to turn them selves around.. if the T-Mobile Sprint Merger fails there is no such clause.

    • SteveD

      And the $4 BILLION dollars that AT&T had to pay T-mobile had nothing to do with it.

      Had it not been for that cash, of which T-Mobile turned over almost all of it right back to AT&T to upgrade it’s entire network to fiber from copper, T-Mobile would have been a bankrupt company. No CEO change would have made a difference at that point.

      Sprint has no such option. A new CEO would mere be in charge of shutting down the network and selling off the assets.

  • SecretStatePolice

    If you want to avoid the California attorney general, just make a generous donation to the state Democratic party headquarters.
    Paper bags full of cash money are readily accepted.