A group of state attorneys general will reportedly sue to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger

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As we reportedly near a government decision on T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger, the deal is facing opposition from some states.

A group of at least 10 state attorneys general are planning to file a lawsuit to try and block T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger. New York state’s attorney general is leading the lawsuit, sources tell Reuters, and the lawsuit is expected to be filed in New York. The New York state attorney general has a press conference scheduled for later today.

The T-Mobile-Sprint merger has already gotten the support of some FCC leaders, including Chairman Ajit Pai, and 18 of the 19 necessary state public utilities commissions. The Justice Department is still conducting an antitrust review of the deal, though reports say a decision could come as soon as this week. It’s unclear how Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim will decide, but the antitrust division staff has reportedly recommended that the merger be blocked.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the group of state attorneys general will argue that allowing T-Mobile and Sprint to merge will eliminate competition and lead to higher prices that could cost customers about $4.5 billion more per year. While the state attorneys general are unsure of how the Justice Department will decide on the deal, it’s said that they’ve investigated the deal and don’t feel the need to wait for the Justice Department to issue a decision.

T-Mobile and Sprint have made commitments tied to their merger’s approval, including the sale of Boost Mobile. The two carriers have also pledged to meet 5G and in-home broadband rollout goals and to not raise prices for three years. Rumors say that the Justice Department also wants T-Mobile and Sprint to help create a competitive fourth carrier in the U.S. if their merger is approved.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg

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  • JStatt

    Let me guess. Every single one of the AGs are from blue states with connections to the former administration.

    • Ummon

      Let the merger go through, we only have 12 years to live anyway.

      • Francisco Peña

        I’m on borrowed time. Florida was supposed to be underwater years ago. Still here.

    • npaladin2000

      Mostly they have connections to AT&T and Verizon.

    • Ver

      Why is everything “blues” fault? This is at&t and Verizon trying to stop it!

      • Francisco Peña

        and they are using liberal AGs to claim “competition” to block it. I want better coverage from TMo, and what they are doing isn’t going to give it to me. TMo can’t compete on coverage, and just on price… that isn’t sustainable if you want to be on par with the big 2.

        • Fabian Cortez

          and they are using liberal AGs to claim “competition” to block it. I want better coverage from TMo, and what they are doing isn’t going to give it to me. TMo can’t compete on coverage, and just on price… that isn’t sustainable if you want to be on par with the big 2.

          Merging with Sprint will not solve T-Mobile’s coverage woes. Sub-1 GHz spectrum will.

          Funny enough, T-Mobile spent the most (IIRC) at the 600 MHz auction. What you’re anxious about is time.

        • npaladin2000

          T-Mobile wants Sprint’s BRS for 5G.

        • Fabian Cortez

          T-Mobile wants Sprint’s BRS for 5G.

          And their customer base.

          They should look into either a licensing agreement or an outright spectrum purchase.

          This fallacy of creating jobs while fostering competition is ludicrous.

          T-Mobile has created enough competition on their own. See Verizon and the availability of unlimited data.

        • Francisco Peña

          VZW took UDP away to get more money. Yes, they gave it back, but with their switching and confusing plans, basically jacked up their rates to cover it. Tmo didn’t do long term damage to them.

        • Fabian Cortez

          VZW took UDP away to get more money. Yes, they gave it back, but with their switching and confusing plans, basically jacked up their rates to cover it. Tmo didn’t do long term damage to them.

          The fact remains that T-Mobile has been driving the industry to keep up with their changes since 2013.

          Verizon’s change of heart with respect to unlimited data is 100% due to T-Mobile.

        • Francisco Peña

          yes, but they took it away to get more money that folks easily paid. First getting rid of grandfathered plans. Then phasing it out to get tiers of data, and if you wanted more, you had to pay. people paid.

          Sure, TMo offered unlimited, and VZW gave it back, but then slapping them in S/M/L/XL, then their newer plans, all milking it for more cash. They didn’t lower pricing to match TMo.. they found a way to take the higher rates starting from teh S/M/L/XL tiers and charge even more for unlimited. Folks see “unlimited” and forget they are charging you for that. They found a way to knock of 2 birds with a stone. Keep you and charge you more.

      • riverhorse

        Blues want to fix everything with overt regulations, big corporations are evil, free bread to the masses.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Let me guess. Every single one of the AGs are from blue states with connections to the former administration.

      I’m not sure what that has to do with maintaining four national carriers.

    • Eric A

      Look it up. They’re all NOT from “blue states” so you guessed wrong.

      • JStatt

        Lol literally every state suing them has a democratic AG. New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado. You look like a fool.

        • Eric A

          They’re still not all “blue states”. Read your own post.

        • JStatt

          Haha! Okay buddy. California, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Colorado are all blue states and Michigan and Wisconsin all voted for democratic AGs, governors, and senators in 2018. The funny thing is your original comment specifically said “They’re all NOT from “blue states””. Oops. Now you are angry that you look totally uneducated. Your anger doesn’t change the facts.

  • Me

    AT&T and Verizon have probably lobbied several of these states to have their Attorney Generals file these lawsuits to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. They don’t want to compete and prefer the current status quo. They are likely willing to pay to keep it that way so there’s that.

    • SurvivingSunnyvale

      Exactly.

      Preserving the duopoly.

  • Gardo

    I love this!! Thank you state attorneys for taking care of consumers. I hope they block it.

    • riverhorse

      Keep giving attorney generals power and soon you won’t be able to do anything without their permission.
      If it wasn’t for T-Mobile cellular pricing and contract terms would be so onerous.

    • Me

      The Comcast NBC Universal deal was less consumer friendly while stifling the competition more. However, it was still allowed. The AGs aren’t your pals. Lol.

    • Giovanni Gentile

      Nope. I’m strong denying that democrap. It will be T-Mobile and sprint merger. High likelihood of that will approve!

  • npaladin2000

    Sell the divested spectrum to Dish and force Dish to either start building out it’s licenses or sell to someone who well. That’s enough to keep a fourth carrier going by itself.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Sell the divested spectrum to Dish and force Dish to either start building out it’s licenses or sell to someone who well. That’s enough to keep a fourth carrier going by itself.

      Dish has more spectrum than T-Mobile. Dish has buildout dates it needs to adhere to. Adding more spectrum to sit on won’t solve the lack of competition issue with this merger.

      • npaladin2000

        Which is why Dish needs to be forced to build out what they’re squatting on or sell it to someone who will. The extra Sprint/T-Mobile spectrum could be used as an incentive to get them to make the investment and build out.

    • SurvivingSunnyvale

      AT&T is buying Dish.

      • npaladin2000

        Somehow I don’t see DirecTV being allowed to buy Dish and only leaving a single sat-TV provider.

  • Francisco Peña

    What a joke.. Tmo and Sprint will never compete with ATT and VZW except on lower price. For the most part, TMo won’t get the same coverage as the other 2 on their own. I want better coverage. Get Sprint to merge their spectrum with TMo and increase the revenue source by now getting 130M subscribers compared to just 80M for TMo, and then we can start to see some benefits.

    2 top tier carriers and 2 b-rated carriers isn’t competition we need, nor want.

    • Fabian Cortez

      What a joke.. Tmo and Sprint will never compete with ATT and VZW except on lower price. For the most part, TMo won’t get the same coverage as the other 2 on their own. I want better coverage. Get Sprint to merge their spectrum with TMo and increase the revenue source by now getting 130M subscribers compared to just 80M for TMo, and then we can start to see some benefits.

      2 top tier carriers and 2 b-rated carriers isn’t competition we need, nor want.

      We don’t need three nationwide carriers either. See Canada.

      • Francisco Peña

        That’s Canada.. they don’t count.. :D

      • Eric A

        If we lived in Canada, you’d have a point.

      • Prode

        Problem is that if Sprint keeps going the way they are, they will die and we will still have 3 but ATT and Verizon will be able to buy part of Sprint on top of TMO. Then ATT and Verizon will be even bigger. If you look at TMO’s track record, they keep their word on what they say. Prices are going to change and go up no matter what. That is how things work. When company’s buy things they then move that cost on to their customers to recoup the cost. If TMO said they are not going to change prices for 3 years, that’s better then this not going thought, TMO buying more spectrum to complete with ATT and Verizon then raising cost to recoup.I hope this goes thought since it will give me better service in MN where I have low service now.

  • Fabian Cortez

    Sue away!