US: DOJ probes T-Mobile-Sprint merger effects on VNOs

According to a report from Reuters on Thursday, June 7, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is examining how the proposed merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint Corp could affect prices for smaller wireless operators or virtual network operators (VNOs). This report is according to two people familiar with the matter.

The DOJ, which is evaluating T-Mobile’s US$26 billion deal to buy Sprint, has been speaking with small wireless operators that buy access to the major wireless networks at wholesale rates, and is seeking their opinions about the merger, the people said, who declined to be named because the talks are confidential.

Including AT&T and Verizon, there are four major US wireless providers. Since the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division recently refused to commit to keep four carriers after the T-Mobile deal is completed—an issue that contributed to AT&T dropping its pursuit to buy T-Mobile in 2011—the department’s examination of the wholesale market suggests the government is giving the deal a thorough review.

Full Content: Reuters

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