State attorneys general seeking delay of T-Mobile-Sprint merger trial

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The proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint is facing a lawsuit from 13 states and the District of Columbia, and the trial between the two sides was set to begin on October 7th. Now the state attorneys general have asked for that date to be pushed back.

Glenn Pomerantz, an attorney for the state AGs, sent a letter to Judge Victor Marrero this week seeking a delay in the October 7th trial date because the states haven’t received the documents on a settlement between the Justice Department, T-Mobile, and Sprint that they were promised. The documents were supposed to be delivered to the state AGs by June 28th, but the Justice Department, T-Mo, and Sprint haven’t reached a deal yet, so there are no settlement documents to give to the state AGs.

“Although it is very unlikely that any settlement between Defendants and USDOJ could prevent the anticompetitive injury that the proposed merger will cause, there is no doubt that the settlement would dramatically change the nature of the evidence needed for trial,” Pomerantz said.

Pomerantz went on to say that the plaintiff states in the case are talking with T-Mobile and Sprint regarding an appropriate trial date and pre-trial schedule.

The state attorneys general are suing to block T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger, arguing that the deal will reduce competition, increase prices, and harm jobs. T-Mobile and Sprint told the court last month that they would wait to close their merger until after the lawsuit is completed. Whatever deal that T-Mo and Sprint end up reaching with the DOJ could change how they defend their merger in court, and so the states will want to delay the trial until an agreement is reached so that they know what they’re going up against.

Rumors have said that Dish Network will buy assets from T-Mobile and Sprint, including Boost Mobile and spectrum. However, T-Mo, Sprint, and Dish are still trying to work out the details of their deal. One aspect that’s still reportedly being discussed is that T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom doesn’t want Dish to sell a large part of its new network to another technology company. As a result of these ongoing talks, it’s expected that T-Mobile and Sprint will extend their merger deadline beyond its current July 29th date.

Thanks, Josh!

Source: Reuters

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  • Fabian Cortez

    arguing that the deal will reduce competition, increase prices, and harm jobs.

    And this is exactly what happens in horizontal mergers. The proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile will be no different.

    • Albert Orange

      Stupid. If Sprint doesn’t merge with T-Mobile, they will simply go out of business and then we will still have only 3 carriers. However… allowing them to merge will allow them to build a massive 5G network that will compete with current in-home wired broadband providers. The Cable Co’s have enjoyed monopolies in their home markets far too long. With Net Neutrality gone, they are really raping customer’s wallets right now. with 5G and T-Mobile’s purchase of Layer 3, they will compete with Cable nationwide!

      • Fabian Cortez

        Stupid. If Sprint doesn’t merge with T-Mobile, they will simply go out of business and then we will still have only 3 carriers.

        Ad hominem aside, when was it ever up to T-Mobile be Sprint’s saving grace? What happened to SoftBank and their deep pockets?

        And that is a specious argument to state that if the merger fails, the nation will be left with only three carriers. A perfect example to look at is the rebound of T-Mobile USA post the failed AT&T merger. Also, look at the recent negotiations relating to Dish attempting to set themselves up as a fourth carrier should this merger succeed. If the merger fails, what is there to stop Sprint and Dish from forming a partnership? Which is honestly what should have happened back in April of 2013.

        However… allowing them to merge will allow tat will compete with current in-home wired broadband providers. The Cable Co’s have enjoyed monopolies in their home markets far too long. With Net Neutrality gone, they are really raping customer’s wallets right now. with 5G and T-Mobile’s purchase of Layer 3, they will compete with Cable nationwide!

        This is all marketing hype employed in an effort to make a select few’s wallets fatter.

        The reality of the situation is “that the deal will reduce competition, increase prices, and harm jobs,” as do all horizontal mergers with limited players.

        • Trevnerdio

          T-Mobile only had that amazing rebound because of AT&T’s quite generous breakup fee and 3G roaming agreement, otherwise that could’ve easily spelled the end for T-Mobile as we know it.

        • Fabian Cortez

          T-Mobile only had that amazing rebound because of AT&T’s quite generous breakup fee and 3G roaming agreement, otherwise that could’ve easily spelled the end for T-Mobile as we know it

          That’s simply not true.

          The breakup fee went to Deutsche Telekom and the 3G roaming agreement (heavily capped) didn’t do much to help them with respect to expanding native coverage, a new CEO, a merger with MetroPCS, etc.

          https://old.reddit.com/r/tmobile/comments/49fh22/tmobiles_carter_data_traffic_forcing_verizon_to/d0s0pw0/

        • Trevnerdio

          Oh I know Legere completely turned the company around, no doubt about that. But I have to think DT had to have at least invested some of those billions back into T-Mo US, no? I misspoke when I said “only,” I forgot they booted the old CEO around that same time.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Oh I know Legere completely turned the company around, no doubt about that. But I have to think DT had to have at least invested some of those billions back into T-Mo US, no? I misspoke when I said “only,” I forgot they booted the old CEO around that same time.

          $0 from AT&T was invested in T-Mobile USA by Deutsche Telekom.

          The LTE build-out was funded by the combined CapEx of T-Mobile and MetroPCS.

        • SirStephenH

          The only thing that helped T-Mobile was the spectrum AT&T had to give up. Even that didn’t really put T-Mobile in the position it is today though. The failed merger showed Deutsche Telekom that there wasn’t going to be a savior that’ll come swoop down and buy the company from it, it had to work to make T-Mobile a better company. This is a lesson SoftBank needs to learn before Sprint can become competitive again.

        • Trevnerdio

          That’s a good point. T-Mobile was a dismal company to be with during those dark times…they hardly even tried to provide customer service and completely stagnated.

        • Fabian Cortez

          That’s a good point. T-Mobile was a dismal company to be with during those dark times…they hardly even tried to provide customer service and completely stagnated.

          Actually, they had good customer service and were very consumer-friendly.

          They allowed a customer to bring any device on their network provided that it didn’t interfere with their network.

        • Trevnerdio

          That’s one facet. That was good. After it was announced that AT&T wanted to buy them, they acted like their hands were tied behind their back. Nothing they could do for 10 year customers.

        • Red

          Cite your source on “The reality of the situation is “that the deal will reduce competition, increase prices, and harm jobs,” as do all horizontal mergers with limited players.”, please.

        • Reagan1

          It MIGHT. It MAY also increase competition in the 5g and in home broadband space, decrease prices depending on market TMO plays, and increase jobs if they succeed.

          Either way, this deal will go through after the BS political dance from the AG’s and Dish/Ergen dance. Just a matter of time.

        • Fabian Cortez

          It MIGHT. It MAY also increase competition in the 5g and in home broadband space, decrease prices depending on market TMO plays, and increase jobs if they succeed.

          Either way, this deal will go through after the BS political dance from the AG’s and Dish/Ergen dance. Just a matter of time.

          “MIGHT” and “MAY” are not valid reasons to eliminate a competitor , raise prices, and job losses.

          Not now, not ever.

        • Reagan1

          Well, the might/may comes right from your economics link…in fairness, they use can/could.

          This also creates a new competitor, but you’re so against the deal, you don’t see that.

          Only 1 sticking point to the deal now and that will get resolved and the deal will go through next week.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Well, the might/may comes right from your economics link…in fairness, they use can/could.

          This also creates a new competitor, but you’re so against the deal, you don’t see that.

          Only 1 sticking point to the deal now and that will get resolved and the deal will go through next week.

          A new competitor can be created without this deal.

          The suggestion that this deal (a merger of two competitors) is required to create a new competitor is absurd.

      • Trevnerdio

        Weird, my Comcast rate was the exact same when net neutrality was a thing as it is now. The sky doesn’t fall without net neutrality, I promise. However, I do agree that this merger wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

        • marque2

          Yeah actually speeds have gone up tremendously since net neutrality’s repeal, and costs have stayed the same.

        • Trevnerdio

          Oh yeah forgot to mention that, my $60 also got me 300mbps automatically up from 180 the previous year, same price and hardly even an announcement that that was going to happen lol although it’s still pretty insulting to think that my 180 connection only costs $10-20 less than competitors’ symmetric gig fiber….but that’s an argument for another time

        • Albert Orange

          Really… I see Cox marketing an addon called “Elite Gamer” that promises to boost gaming connections for more money….

        • Trevnerdio

          How would they even do that? That would mean they artificially increase your latency on a normal connection. It would not be in their best interest at all to apply even more QoS to all their connections.

        • Clifton K. Morris

          The “elite gamer” package is a VPN service with a third party company separated from Cox.

          Apparently that VPN provider has better (or more) peering agreements than Cox has, which may be indicative of the service Cox can provide in-house and on its own networks.

  • AA-Ron

    Instead of having to sell spectrum, they should have some sort of agreement to lease some of the spectrum for a couple years until Dish aquires its own. It just makes no sense that they have to sell something they actually need to bolster their Network.

    • npaladin2000

      DIsh has it’s own. They’ve had their own for quite a while now.

      • Sayahh

        Exactly, which was why T-Mobile and Dish merger rumors made sense.

      • AA-Ron

        Exactly, so TMO shouldn’t have to sell any of theirs.

    • Sean sorlie

      This is already a part of the broad agreement. More specifically, a network use agreement for 6-7 years while Dish can build out it’s own network.

  • riverhorse

    Same people that rail against merger proposal also complain about poor roaming, weak signals, and high competitor pricing. Give the leader in low pricing a chance at this (and to boot similar issues plaguing TV and Internet). The problem will not go away by itself, without industry players unitingcooperating, or get magically fixed with additional government involvement. Or by just following the yellow brick road.

    Can’t seem to find the list of opposing states. I’d be willing to bet they’re all Blue AGs.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Same people that rail against merger proposal also complain about poor roaming, weak signals, and high competitor pricing. Give the leader in low pricing a chance at this (and to boot similar issues plaguing TV and Internet). The problem will not go away by itself, without industry players unitingcooperating, or get magically fixed with additional government involvement. Or by just following the yellow brick road.

      T-Mobile doesn’t need to spend money to merge with Sprint to expand native coverage.

      They’re doing it just fine with 700 Mhz and 600 MHz.

      Can’t seem to find the list of opposing states. I’d be willing to bet they’re all Blue AGs.

      The politics of this is immaterial.

      • riverhorse

        Just a coincidence then- the thinking that corporations will turn evil (even ones with no previous record), and government intervention will guarantee us low prices- doesn’t fall under any particular ideology… And
        Yeah, both sides of the aisle think thusly.
        Ok.
        Because it’s such a just, obvious cause… that whoever doesn’t agree must be so clueless and insensitive and whatever.
        Okie dokie.

  • Keith

    I say let the opposing states bail out Sprint with their state budgets. Sprint is dead without this.

  • Reagan1

    Looks like a decision will be made by next week at the latest. Only sticking point is TMO/DT doesn’t want to extend spectrum to DIsh as structured now, IF they (Dish) are bought by a cable co. DOJ will block it then. My guess is they will meet somewhere in the middle, so if Dish is bought, the spectrum will be extended for a lesser time frame than structured now.

    This will be approved and announce closed next week…my prediction.

    • Clifton K. Morris

      My position on this, is that when it comes to competition, the “invisible hand” of the market should allow business decisions to be made with full autonomy.

      When I watched the Congressional Hearings (especially the House Hearings) related to this merger, T-Mobile said they made “offers” to rural carriers to purchase equipment through T-Mobile’s massive scale, but no US Rural provider took advantage of those deals. But those attempted deals most likely placed restrictions on rural carriers’ ability to compete.