Illinois’ Kwame Raoul becomes 17th state AG to join lawsuit against T-Mobile and Sprint merger

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The lawsuit from several state attorneys general attempting to block the T-Mobile and Sprint merger has another member.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is the latest state AG to come out against the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. He’s the 17th state AG to join the lawsuit, which also includes California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.

“This merger would significantly decrease competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services in Illinois and across the country,” said Attorney General Raoul. “With fewer companies competing, customers would face fewer choices, higher prices, less innovation and lower quality service. I am proud to stand with my counterparts in taking action to protect consumers.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of the leaders of the lawsuit, welcomed Attorney General Raoul’s decision to join the multistate lawsuit. “With Illinois’ addition to our lawsuit, more than half the U.S. population is now represented by states that are suing to block the anticompetitive megamerger of T-Mobile and Sprint,” said Attorney General James. “We welcome Attorney General Raoul to our growing coalition that now includes 17 attorneys general, all who have opposed this merger because it remains bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation.”

Originally filed back in June, the state AGs’ lawsuit against T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger argues that competition will be “lessened substantially” and that prices for mobile service are likely to be higher if T-Mo and Sprint are allowed to combine. The lawsuit also argues that “innovation will likely be reduced” and that there will be a “substantial loss” of retail jobs if the merger is allowed to happen.

There have been some states that’ve come out in support of T-Mobile and Sprint’s deal. Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota were named as supporters of the merger when the Justice Department announced its approval of the deal in July, and more recently, state AGs from Utah and Louisiana announced that they also support the merger.

The trial for this lawsuit is currently slated to begin in early December. Some rumors have suggested that T-Mobile and Sprint may have started to investigate a possible settlement with some of the state AGs involved in the lawsuit, but at that time, the two sides were said to be “miles away” from any kind of deal.

Source: New York Attorney General Letitia James

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  • Chanki Lee

    so why are they suing? I still dont understand the reason of suing the merge.

    • SirStephenH

      Because it’ll result in less competition, less consumer choice, higher prices, fewer jobs, etc, etc, etc… You know, exactly the opposite of what T-Mobile and Sprint claim. What I don’t understand is why people are so eager to except a corporation’s claims at face value without actually digging into the gory details.

      • AA-Ron

        won’t their be a 4th service provider in the market by way of Dish? So there should be more competition and hopefully even cheaper prices .

        • dtam

          because Dish has done so well with the spectrum they already hold?

        • SirStephenH

          The Dish as a 4th carrier argument relies on a company (Dish) that has been sitting on its spectrum while not lifting a finger to use it even as deadlines approach that would take it away to actually follow though on its promise this time after breaking them so many times in the past. There wouldn’t even be a Dish 4th carrier right away, as part of the agreement Dish would run on New T-Mobile’s network for 7 years by which time Dish promises that it’ll have its own network covering 70% of Americans and that this time will be different, it’ll actually follow though. There hasn’t even been public plans of Dish starting it’s own post-paid brand as of yet, the current plans only include the MVNOs Dish is buying from Sprint as part of the agreement. Even *IF* Dish follows through and completes its network, 70% coverage will put it in a weaker position than Sprint is currently and the sudden 29% coverage drop-off after the network use agreement with New T-Mobile expires in 7 years would cause a mass exodus of consumers to other carriers.

  • Brandon

    As someone who lives in the southern portion of Illinois away from Chicago I can tell you that Sprint has almost no coverage outside of the big cities. I am actually a T-Mobile customer because they have 700Mhz coverage in most of the state. The AG joining shows the politicians have no knowledge of actual conditions. The merger would be very beneficial to those of us in Illinois who don’t live in Chicago.

    • gramps28

      I’m glad I recently moved out of Illinois and the corruption of Chicago politics.

      You know Jabba the Hut took payoffs from Verizon and AT&T and told Kwame to do it.

  • Danno

    “bad for innovation.” Let’s look at that one.
    T-Mobile has been an innovator in favor of the consumer.
    * T-Mobile Tuesdays with various free items for the taking just be being a T-Mobile customer. The very first item given away was a share of T-Mobile stock!! What other mobile phone operator gives stock to it’s customers just in appreciation of being a customer?
    * T-Mobile blazed new paths with unlimited plans when Verizon was jacking prices and removing unlimited plans because they said nobody needs an unlimited plan. Then Verizon came back into the fold offering unlimited plans again after watching customers get what they wanted from T-Mobile. The prices stayed up there.
    * And support wise, T-Mobile revamped their entire support model to provide the best possible support they could provide. This only resulted in repeatedly winning the JD Powers award for outstanding support.
    * Prices, how about grandfathering your plan till you decide to switch, regardless of cost or features.
    * T-Mobile is working hard with Nokia and others developing their 5G technology.
    * Also T-Mobile is still pounding out 600MHz upgrades to their network.

    Listening to these AG’s claim that T-Mobile and Spring will raise prices when T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to hold prices for 3 years….well, I believe T-Mobile before I’d believe the crap spewing forth from the AG’s mouths. These are just politicians, most likely lying to us, because their lips are moving.
    T-Mobile has EARNED the moniker of the Un-Carrier. Thank you T-Mobile for shaking things up and providing innovations that other mobile carriers are forced to follow, because you are doing it right, and doing it for the CUSTOMER!! Put the customer first and the bottom line will follow with new business. Verizon and AT&T are famous for putting the bottom line first, and who cares if the customer is served.

    • SirStephenH

      LOL! T-Mobile has only done that stuff because it’s one of the little guys. We’ve already seen a large drop-off and weakening of T-Mobile’s pro-consumer initiatives over the past few years as it’s become the quickest growing out of the top 4 carriers. Placing it into a triopoly will see almost all of its pro-consumer stance evaporate because there would be no more need.

      • Francisco Peña

        Couple of things.
        1) If Tmo gets up to the big 3, and still makes some noise with offerings, would the other 2 stay pat? The biggest knock on Tmo is their coverage, right? So if they manage to get Sprint’s spectrum, and use it to expand to become better in non-urban areas, would the biggest barrier to Tmo coverage be wiped out? If you travel and Tmo doesn’t have coverage, you wouldn’t use them right? Now if they expand and get better, and offer far superior pricing, would you be prone to switch? a better chance of it? Then, would ATT/VZW try to offer something to get you to stay? probably. Those 2 biggest feature is their coverage. If that trump card gets nullified, then what would they be able to offer to compete? Maybe slightly lower prices and hope the name value recognition keeps them up top?

        2) In my area, we have for years, 2 cable companies. I’ve known alot of people up north that just have one and everyone (you can look online too) complains of poor service, poor pricing, and/or poor selection/features. Compare that to places with 2 companies, and they are always offering deals to entice the other customers to switch. From $500 paying off the contract, to $200 gift cards, to half price TV or Internet bills, etc. So all the hoopla about not being competitive is a joke. If the market can’t sustain 4 carriers, then why force them to stay at 4? I’d rather take my chance with 3 carriers, where one gains assets that could increase it’s coverage ans service. I don’t want to be in Costco behind my mall and not be able to get any coverage at all. I want my carrier to take some coverage and make it better, faster. I want to be able to go out towards the country and get a signal without paying over 100% more than I do now.
        I pay $83 for 3 lines unlimited +Hotspot. Closest VZW plan is Play More Unlimited with its hotspot.. Monthly bill is $195 plus taxes. I pay $83. I’d gladly pay a bit more to get better coverage, but not $100+.

        without more spectrum and coverage, TMo’s only claim will be lower prices. Give them resources that Sprint has, and they can eventually claim to have gotten better in coverage. Forcing them to stay as 4 carriers will never allow anyone other than VZW/ATT to be that large. No one will have a chance to compete as an all around opponent. They will be a gymnast in one discipline (price) rather than competing for the all-around title.

        • SirStephenH

          1) Sprint uses band 26 (850MHz) for coverage while T-Mobile uses bands 12 (700MHz) and 76 (600MHz), both of which provide better coverage than Sprint’s coverage band. Also, T-Mobile is in fact selling off all of Sprint’s band 26 as part of the merger deal so all of New T-Mobile’s coverage will be coming from T-Mobile’s spectrum. T-Mobile already has coverage on par with Verizon, not all in the exact same spaces but virtually equal coverage overall. The coverage gap is more about perception at this point than reality. Consumers need to be taught that this whole ‘T-Mobile has terrible coverage’ myth is a thing of the past and T-Mobile is trying to do that through its rebooted test drive program.

          2) You started off by arguing that competition actually lowers prices, then went on to say less competition is good. Make up your mind. The market can easily support 4 carriers, no one disputes this fact. The market could in fact easily support at least 5 or 6 national carriers. History has always show that the more competition you have, the lower prices will be and the less competition you have, the higher prices will be. T-Mobile has done these pro-consumer initiatives in order to grow and compete from a weaker position but once it’s rocketed to triopoly status it’ll switch to exploit profitability mode just like the current carrier duopoly and any other ___opoly in history. If you want to be able to travel the nation without having to pay 100% more than what you do now then you in fact do not want this merger to go through. Market consolidation has ALWAYS led to higher prices. I’ll bet that you believe in trickle down economics too despite all of history showing it to do nothing but consolidate money at the top.

          3) Once again, T-Mobile already has coverage on par with Verizon. Verizon and T-Mobile are pretty much at the point where any further coverage gains would be very difficult and expensive. The spectrum T-Mobile has is plenty for the size the company is right now (especially if it shuts down 3G) and more spectrum can be gained in ways other than major market consolidation. Sprint has no resources to help with coverage, all it has is a bit of mid-band, a lot of ‘high-band’ (band 41), and a ton of debt. Again, T-Mobile’s spectrum is better for coverage than Sprint’s and New T-Mobile will be selling off Sprint’s low-band (low-band is used by carriers for coverage) to Dish as part of the merger agreement.

          T-Mobile has been competing perfectly fine from the position it’s in and your opolistic ‘competition’ argument completely ignored the most obvious solution, break up the duopoly. A third of Verizon and AT&T could spun off into a competitive 5th carrier, bringing them all onto roughly equal footing without consolidating the market further and harming consumers.

  • Deadeye37

    Sorry to say, but blocking the merger would only see 3 major carriers eventually. Sprint is on a slowly sinking ship where they have a heavy debt load & can’t afford major investments to its aging infrastructure. They are somewhat competitive now, but once 5G becomes the norm, Sprint will become less & less competitive, leaking more customers & revenue and will eventually tank. Then the big 2 carriers will swoop in & make more grabs making them even bigger & stronger leaving T-mobile to still fight it out, but Verizon & AT&T becoming behemoths instead.

    Let T-mobile get strong & hopefully Dish will make a splash with their mobile service that can further innovate. Its not everyday that you can start from scratch. Just please don’t take the cable TV route of servicing customers & offering products.

    • Harlimus

      no if they block the merger, all that will be left is att and verizon.

    • dtam

      it still makes more sense for dish to acquire sprint tbh. but that combined entity should also be forced to sell spectrum

  • Guillermo Eduardo Ortega-ibarr

    All this states suing to get money so sad they know tmo will have to make a settlement..

    • SirStephenH

      Suing to get money? LOL! You have absolutely no idea how this works, do you?

      • Guillermo Eduardo Ortega-ibarr

        Well if you seen on previous post by tmo news tmo start slowing 5g grow to safe money.. To get ready to settlements

        • SirStephenH

          The states are suing to block the merger. Any settlement made will be to get pro-consumer changes to the merger. This has absolutely nothing to do with “states suing to get money”, it’s not that type of settlement in any way, shape, or form.

        • Guillermo Eduardo Ortega-ibarr

          Okay

  • Jim Mill

    Blah blah already let it go through

  • spierce617

    I believe the 17 states are in the pockets of Verizon and AT&T. They want Sprint to fail so AT&T and Verizon can come in and take all of the spectrum that Sprint has so T-Mobile cannot expand and have a very good 5G network.

    • Jim Mill

      Yup

  • Donny Gunn

    It seems that all this stems from John L. staying in trump hotels and all these states hate Trump. I hope I’m wrong.

  • spierce617

    Well you got 1 out 6 right. Now you will never guess what one it is.