FCC officially approves proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger

fcc-formal-approval-t-mobile-sprint-merger

It’s official! The proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger has formally been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today. A decision has finally been made after months of thorough, and sometimes heated, analysis of the proposed $26.5 billion merger of the two carriers. 

The government agency believes that the deal will link together the digital divide in the country and will even advance the 5G service that T-Mobile and Sprint promised to deploy to cover 97 percent of consumers within the next three years. In addition to this, the two companies pledged to give 90 percent of citizens access to mobile service with at least 100 Mbps within six years. As long as those promises are met, the FCC is conditional on its approval. If the goals aren’t met, T-Mobile and Sprint could both be fined over $2 billion. 

Contrary to what is being argued by several state attorneys general and a couple of FCC commissioners, the Commission believes that the merger between the two companies should not harm competition. Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said in a statement:

“While the parties promise their merger will accelerate the availability of some form of ‘5G’ for some Americans, history teaches us that the most likely effect of this merger will be higher prices and fewer options for all Americans.”

The FCC’s decision to formally approve the merger does not come as a surprise. The proposed merger has previously been approved by the Department of Justice and even endorsed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The only obstacle that the deal needs to overcome is the merger delay or blockage caused by the state attorneys general. 

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  • VapidRapidRabbit

    Let’s see how prices shoot up in a few years.

    • slybacon

      For wireless internet that covers 90% of the US population with 100 Mbps or higher??? I’ll pay more for that.

      • VapidRapidRabbit

        Then go to AT&T or Verizon.

        • slybacon

          Neither of those two giants have 100 Mbps.

        • Jose Mendoza

          Verizon does lol
          I’m not a fan of any of these greedy carriers, but they have it mostly everywhere they serve. Band 13 + Band 5 + Band 2 + Band 4 2x total 15mhz

        • slybacon

          I have both Verizon (work) and T-Mobile (personal) on my iPhone XS and I don’t get 100 Mbps on Verizon when I use them. In fact, they are typically slower and more dead spots than T-Mobile, so I use T-Mobile for data. I’ve tested this in both Salt Lake and Las Vegas.

        • Jose Mendoza

          Yeah I guess it depends by area or even what plan you’re on for Verizon because they do reprioritize heavily if you’re on one of the applicable plans, hence why I now have TMobile. But the funky adjustments they keep making to the transmit power is annoying because one time I’ll have signal along a stretch and the next time I won’t. And Verizon has its dead spots but at least it works mostly and won’t drop calls. AT&T is a nightmare here because they also can’t seem to figure out their issues with calls at times like TMobile.

    • (J²)

      Costs for T-Mobile service (and wireless service elsewhere) has increased over recent years. It should support that this merger or any merger for this matter has little influence of price.

      US companies find clever ways to make consumers pay more for less (or the same) over a period of time. Anyone notice that all these “promotions” has slowly lured existing customers away from their older plans? The promotions have since been changed or discontinued – yet the plan pricing remains the same.

      Take the 2 year contracts for example. We paid a flat rate (based on total price) in exchange for 24 months commitment. Now, we have to pay down payments (in some cases) and are locked into a 24 – 36 month commitment – in some cases without the option of upgrading early.

    • Jose Mendoza

      They will lol
      They would’ve regardless, but they will more or jobs will be cut. It’s the same story people make excuses for because it seems better to be a self centered shill that repeats MSM talking points than to understand what’s been going on for the past decades.

  • PC

    Let’s call this for what it is BULLSH*T!!

    SoftBank owns Sprint. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son bought shares of Sprint. He lost money on his investment!! He is friends with Donald Trump. Now in effort to recoup his losses he asked and got the approval to merge Sprint with T-Mobile.

    If any ordinary US citizen lost money on an investment you can write part of the loss off on your taxes, AND YOU GET NO MONEY BACK. However, if you are wealthy they get money back. NOT FAIR HERE!! LET HIM FAIL.

    Let’s look at some points to the puzzle. Obama Administration says NO to AT&T merger with T-Mobile and it reduces competition. Trump Administration says YES and they authorize Dish as a NEW provider. Dish has no $$ and will be obsolete before they finish building out THEIR NEW NETWORK!!

    Sprint uses (CDMA) same as Verizon. T-Mobile uses (GSM) same as AT&T. So T-Mobile gets Spectrum (low bandwidth) from Sprint. Dish gets from T-Mobile. Government auctions off more Spectrum. Dish is dying out to Directv who is owned by AT&T. Which the rumors are saying AT&T wants to sell of Directv.

    So how does it benefit us citizens? Two words for you… IT DOESN’T!! And the technologies don’t match and T-Mobile spends more $$ to assemble the crappy Sprint junk they acquired by merging together.

    Write to your state attorney general who is suing to block the merger and tell them STAY THE COURSE AND OFF THEM THE ABOVE FACTS.

    DO NOT REWARD BAD FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS. SUFFER LIKE EVERYDAY CITIZENS.

    But wait Masayoshi Son is taking his money from the above merger to fund his Vision Fund another investment deal. Wait give him time and he will seek another bail out.

    Thank you, you crooked and evil politicians who nothing more than screw over their colleagues and constituents!! But wait they vote to get THEIR YEARLY RAISES but refuse to raise minimum wage for hard working Americans!!

    • stupid8911 .

      I agree partially. The current resident of the White House is (heavy sigh) in bed with money: always has been, always will be. I would want to point out that when it was the T-Mo/AT&T saga, T-Mo was still the little engine that could. In fact, since that deal fell through, T-Mo was given a HUGE “breakup” fee which it used for a major facelift and improvement. And while you’re correct when spotting that CDMA and GSM are not necessarily compatible, their LTE bands are interchangeable, no?

      • The whole GSM /CDMA argument is tired and moot anyway. T-Mobile and Metro PCS merged without any effort. And most new Sprint phones work with at least two T-Mobile bands. Anyone who makes this argument doesn’t know the current state of the industry.

        And let’s be clear: EVERY resident of the White House is “in bed with money”. You’re just lying to yourself if you say otherwise. Whether it’s R or D, they’re all full of the same crap and spew the same lies.

        With cable companies entering the wireless industry, there is plenty of competition. They’re all converging across different industries. So the whole “doomsday” scenario where we end up like Canada is totally unfounded.

        • tfranzman

          This fits into the ‘both sides do it’ box which is the refuge of those who are trying to confuse obfuscate the masses.

        • George B

          Most Sprint phones will work on T-Mobile bands 2, 4, and 12. There was an effort associated with the Competitive Carrier Association device hub to sell devices that would work for roaming between regional carriers like US Cellular and national carriers Sprint and T-Mobile.

      • Francisco Peña

        The difference between then and now is that without that breakup fee that was negotiated between ATT and TMo (not the government), Tmo was in 4th place and going to fall behind. They got money that they used to reinvest and the rest is history. Now Sprint is in 4th, but there are no billions for them if this falls through. Sprint just announced they lost 91,000 postpaid subscribers and they keep doing that. Their deals aren’t doing anything to stop the bleeding.

        And STOP dragging Trump into everything. You think every president/candidate isn’t in bed with money? I have a bridge to sell you.

        • stupid8911 .

          Yeah, but he’s pretty shameless about it. Some say that’s him being transparent, but I say that’s him being tactless. My two cents…

    • Anonymous Reviewer

      GSM and CDMA are dead, both are being phased out. Verizon will retire cdma this year (no more cdma activations currently) and AT&T has announced they will retire their 3g HSPA network in the next few years. LTE and 5G are the future.

      T-Mobile can start broadcasting band 2 as 25 using mfbi so Sprint’s band 25 will pair perfectly with T-Mobile. The technology is not incompatible unless you have a older phone.

      I have a neutral stance on the merger but the transition wouldn’t be that difficult.

      • George B

        Not only are all the carriers now using 4G LTE, but Dynamic Spectrum Sharing allows them to support a mix of 4G LTE and 5G NR devices on the same radio channel going forward as they transition to 5G. Most of the current difficulties of moving a phone from one carrier to another are due to artificial anti-competitive actions by Verizon and AT&T. Hardware that leaves out specific bands used by competitors and software that only allows the device to work with a SIM for their network. In contrast, Sprint has been relatively good at promoting hardware that would work on the networks of various small regional cellular carriers to support roaming agreements. T-Mobile is also relatively good at allowing any device that will accept their SIM to try to register and connect on Band 2 or 4 even if Verizon and AT&T crippled the hardware on the lower bands.

        • Anonymous Reviewer

          This is true however DSS is not ready yet but should be in a year or so and it’ll just be a software update as long as the equipment supports it. Which I know the equipment T-Mobile is using for its 600mhz is capable.

          Right now they are dedicating band 71 spectrum to 5G that’s why a lot of places that had 10 MHz channels now have 5 for LTE. A year from now though when DSS is ready it’ll be better.

          Taking things even further T-Mobile has 5G live on 600 MHz in some markets. This can be verified with a rf spectrum analyzer.

    • Francisco Peña

      I don’t think a burger flipper should make $15/hr when an HR assistant thast has to know more policies and regulations makes that much.

      Obama says no to ATT merger, and if ATT/TMO didn’t write in a breakup fee, TMo would be dead. TMo was hoping for the deal to be blocked.

      But lets give billions to failed industries as a bail-out – Obama.

      • tfranzman

        Don’t penalize the burger flippers, pay the HR assistant a living wage as well.

        • Francisco Peña

          Then give them $20? so then, what about the $20 folks who have even more responsibilities? Do they go to $25? Then about the $25 person, and on and on and on.

          Minimum wage jobs aren’t meant to be a long term solution. You aren’t supposed to live indefinitely in that type of job. Its short term.

        • tfranzman

          Yes, of course. Every full time job should pay a livable wage.

          If we can afford Billionaires who pay almost no taxes then we certainly can afford this.

          Have you ever compared minimum wage in European countries with the price of a Big Mac? Try it some time.

        • Francisco Peña

          We don’t afford billionaires, most make it themselves and work to get where they are. I’m far from a billionaire, but I don’t begrudge them, nor do I expect to make them pay extra just because they are wealthy. That’s not fair either. If you make more than me, I’m not calling for you to pay more either.

          French Minimum wage is about $11USD same as roughly Germany. and I lived in Germany for 5 yrs. maybe you should try it

        • tfranzman

          I want them to pay their fair share….none of them do.

        • Francisco Peña

          what is their fair share? If I owned a company, employed thousands, paid money in various taxes, etc… what would be my fair share?

          soundbite of “Make them pay their fair share” sounds cool, but can you actually quantify what is a fair share? Do they all have to pay the exact same amount? Why is it that the top earners pay the most anyways in overall taxes? Aren’t the ones that don’t pay taxes not paying their fair share? I get a refund each year, am I paying my fair share? Do I need to give my refund back then?

        • superg05

          PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE STUPID MINIMUM WAGE WOULD BE 22 DOLLARS AN HOUR RIGHT NOW IF CORPORATIONS HAD NOT REDIRECTED THE FUNDS TO THEMSELVES THROUGH BRIBING POLITICIANS STARTING AROUND THE 70S. A SIMPLE WALMART SUPER CENTER MAKES 50 MILLION A YEAR. THE TARGET MY FRIEND IS AT NOW MADE 69 MILLION LAST YEAR 1 STORE WHATEVER ANYONE MAKE’S IN ANY INDUSTRY SHOULD BE AT LEAST DOUBLE THAT BUT THE RICH ARE TAKING ALL THE MONEY WHILE YOUR LABOR GENERATES THE WEALTH.

        • Francisco Peña

          Amazon has black friday deals on working keyboards that don’t have their caplocks stuck.

          Minimum wage wouldn’t be $22. Nor should it.

      • Eric A

        If it wasn’t for the “burger flippers” the HR assistant wouldn’t have a job since the burger flippers are the ones generating the revenue.

        • Francisco Peña

          Anyone can flip a burger for minimum wage. Training an HR assistant takes more than what it takes to train a burger flipper. If I owned a burger joint, I could get burger flippers at a dime a dozen. if I want an HR assistant, I’m looking for better skills, demeanor, and abilities. I’m looking to keep them for longer than a burger flipper as there will always be people looking for an entry level flipping job.

    • George B

      To be fair, Sprint has been having financial problems long before
      SoftBank bought shares and there’s a significant risk that they will go
      bankrupt. Who’s President of the US doesn’t change that. Sprint can
      sell a lot of spectrum to T-Mobile, shrink, and retreat as a competitor,
      Sprint can merge into New T-Mobile and disappear as a competitor, or
      Sprint can fail and disappear as a competitor.

    • slybacon

      First, you sound like a typical Verizon customer (or maybe the CEO?).
      Also, crappy Sprint junk? Sprint has very valuable mid-band spectrum that all carriers are drooling over. It will allow for TRUE 5G will low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum. No other wireless carrier will have that for the foreseeable future.

    • gorilla

      Softbank is losing billions on WeWork so he deserves to get some money back for Sprint

  • AA-Ron

    Are we forgetting that Dish Network will become a 4th major wireless competitor? Wasn’t that part of the agreement for the merger and sell off of spectrum? They are going to want to make money quick and attract new customers so I’m sure that will keep prices down and competitive. I could be all wrong, or maybe I’m missing something. It can’t be all that bad. Look at cable, all the companies started to merge, prices got higher and higher. As a result people started cutting the cord. That brought prices down and grew new markets and technology. Granted I’m tired of all these channels starting their own streaming services but you get my point.

    • Jon

      And now the cable companies are starting their own OTT services where they charge you for the Internet, and then charge you for channel packages at the same effective price as Cable TV…

      Dish has no interest in being a mobile network provider, dealing with annoying customers.

      They’ll grab cheap prepaid users to satisfy the FCC, shuffle them off to a small subset of the spectrum they have, and sell the rest of their spectrum off for a profit as soon as they can.

  • PC

    Let’s call it as it is. How many customers from all existing customers across all areas are going to give up what they have currently and switch or even give Dish any chance to compete.

    Deutsch Telekom (Germany) wanted to sell off T-Mobile!! Now let’s assume that T-Mobile settle all lawsuits how many customers will switch and try DISH. Dish is a dying brand but the Government is trying to keep them relevant for what? To support the idea that they are a good 4th carrier. Be smart let Sprint fail and auction off their spectrum to be split evenly for the other (3). Sorry DISH you are too late to the party and have nothing to offer.

    5 years to build out a network that will already months and years behind the others. Time to fold up and say bye bye.

    Masayoshi Son sorry bout your financial losses but why should you get a financial break when you are a foreigner who mad bad investment choice. Deal with the consequences like the rest of middle America.

    So what you lost 6 Billion or whatever the dam amount was and now you asking others to join your NEW VISION FUND 2.0 worth 100 million. Go squander and solicit money elsewhere. Stop preying upon America then cry foul when things do not go your way. Welcome to capitalism. You invested in America so face the music!! If we Americans lost that kind of money in your country of Japan your answer to us is “I’m sorry, nothing I can do to help or remedy the circumstances” So once again tough and don’t invest in America we citizens are not your dam bank!!

    • Jose Mendoza

      Socialism for the rich, and dirt capitalism for the middle and poor! I like T-Mobile, but this merger stuff I no likey. Especially when it’ll be off the backs of customers.

  • superg05

    GLAD IM GRANDFATHERED A BIT BECAUSE PRICES WILL RISE