Last month we saw FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr come out in support of T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger following the announcement of commitments from the two carriers. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel didn’t feel the same way about the deal, saying she had “serious doubts” about it, and this week she touched a bit more on the merger and the support its gotten from her fellow FCC Commissioners.
During a press conference after an FCC meeting this week, Commissioner Rosenworcel was asked about the T-Mobile-Sprint merger and if there are any additional conditions she’d like to see placed on it. As noted by Cablefax, she expressed concern over the deal, saying that she’s “never seen a transaction dealt like this” and that she’s “uncomfortable” with how the FCC’s review of the deal has happened.
Here’s Commisioner Rosenworcel’s full response to a question about T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger:
“In my time at the agency, I have never seen a transaction dealt with like this. My colleagues have all publicly voted on a transaction that we have absolutely no paper analysis or material in front of us. That just taps in to the worst images of backroom dealing in Washington. I don’t think it’s appropriate that this is how we chose to do it. I think that we should make decisions on the basis of analysis and paper and detail and study before us. Not just some announcement by press release that gets an amen chorus from some portion of this agency. There’s something odd about how this all happened and I just want to say, as a procedural matter, it makes me uncomfortable.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said that he believes the T-Mobile-Sprint merger is in the public interest after T-Mobile and Sprint promised to sell Boost Mobile if their deal is approved. The two carriers also made 5G and in-home broadband rollout commitments and pledged to not raise prices for three years. Following these promises, FCC Chairman Brendan Carr also announced his support of the deal and FCC Chairman Mike O’Rielly said that he’s “inclined to support” the merger.
The deal is still being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice for any antitrust concerns. Rumors have suggested that the DOJ wants T-Mobile and Sprint to help create a fourth U.S. carrier if their merger is approved. However, no official announcements have been made by the DOJ regarding its review and there’s no word on when a decision might be made.
In the mean time, the attorneys general of Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have joined other states investigating T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed merger. These attorneys general have told the FCC that they plan to join a DOJ examination of the deal and that they need access to documents related to it.