Texas is the latest state to withdraw from the lawsuit against T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger.
Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that he’s reached a settlement with T-Mobile that’s focused on pricing, 5G, and jobs. The agreement includes the following requirements for the New T-Mobile:
- Give all Texas customers access to the same or better unlimited talk, text, and data rate plans as those offered by T-Mobile as of the date of the agreement for the next five years
- Give all Texas customers access to T-Mobile limited data rate plans at a cost far below what is currently offered in the industry
- Commit to provide 5G wireless broadband coverage to areas where most Texans live, including most Texans living in rural portions of the state within the next three years and to expand that 5G coverage dramatically within the next six years
- Offer Texas residents that are currently employed by Sprint and T-Mobile substantially similar employment with the New T-Mobile
When he originally joined the lawsuit against T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger, Paxton said that he did not “anticipate that the proposed new entrant will replace the competitive role of Sprint anytime soon” and that the deal T-Mobile and Sprint struck with the Department of Justice “is not in the best interest of working Texans”.
Fast-forward nearly four months and here’s what Paxton has to say about his office’s settlement with T-Mobile:
“My office is responsible for protecting consumers and this settlement ensures that the New T-Mobile is not in a position to overcharge Texans for wireless service, and at the same time, obligates the New T-Mobile to invest in a high-quality 5G network that will serve the needs of Texas’ growing economy, or face stiff financial penalties. Our objectives in joining the initial lawsuit were to protect Texans from unnecessary price hikes and to ensure that Texans living in both urban and rural areas will not get stuck with substandard service as the market for wireless telecommunication services evolves to adopt new standards of technology with the power to transform the Texas economy. This agreement achieves those objectives.”
Now that Texas has flipped sides, the lawsuit against T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger includes 14 states and Washington D.C. New York Attorney General Letitia James is one of the AGs leading the lawsuit, and last week she said that T-Mo’s recent commitments don’t address the antitrust concerns that she and the other state AGs have with the merger. The trial for that lawsuit will begin on December 9th.