Hot on the heels of California’s Attorney General saying that he won’t appeal the ruling in T-Mobile-Sprint merger lawsuit, some more good news for the merger has come out of California.
The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposal to approve the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The approval comes with “extensive conditions” that aim to mitigate any adverse impacts on competition and to protect consumers.
The conditions that the CPUC have proposed for the merged company include:
- Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 99 percent of California’s population by the end of 2026.
- Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 85 percent of California’s rural population, and speeds of at least 50 Mbps available to 94 percent of California’s rural population, by the end of 2026.
- Have fixed home Internet access available to at least 2.3 million California households, of which at least 123,000 are rural households, within six years of closing.
- No retail price increases for at least three years.
- Offer the low income California LifeLine program for as long as it operates in California, and enroll at least 300,000 new LifeLine customers.
- Increase jobs in California by at least 1,000 compared to the total number of current Sprint and T-Mobile employees.
- Establish the capability to serve all customers for at least 72 hours (i.e., have back-up power) after an emergency event or a utility Public Safety Power Shut-off.
- Other important commitments relating to diversity, reporting, and rural infrastructure deployment, among other topics.
The CPUC proposal also orders that an independent monitor is appointed to view T-Mobile’s compliance with this proposal and that the CPUC may take action if T-Mo fails to comply with the conditions.
It’s worth noting that while the CPUC has issued a proposal to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, the CPUC commissioners’ first opportunity to vote on the proposal will be April 16th. Comments on the proposal from parties to the proceeding are due in 20 days, and members of the public can submit comments on the docket card here.
All this means that T-Mobile likely won’t close the merger on April 1st like it has been hoping, but T-Mo and Sprint are probably still pleased to learn that the CPUC has issued a proposal to conditionally approve the deal.