US: New opposition to T-Mobile and Sprint deal arrises

According to a new coalition of advocacy groups, T-Mobile’s proposed US$26 billion acquisition of Sprint will result in higher prices for consumers, poorer service, and fewer incentives for the companies to invest

“As structured, the T-Mobile-Sprint combination is illegal on its face under the antitrust laws, does not serve the public interest, and should be rejected,” Public Knowledge, Open Markets Institute, Common Cause, Consumers Union, and Writers Guild of America write in comments submitted this week to the FCC.

“A combined T-Mobile and Sprint means higher prices and worse service in wireless phone service. This is true for the public at large, and especially true for rural and suburban communities. This is a bad deal plain and simple. There is no excuse for the government to approve it.” said Open Markets Institute Executive Director Barry Lynn.

Phillip Berenbroick, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge, said, “The record compiled by the FCC clearly demonstrates that the proposed transaction is a classic horizontal merger that would substantially reduce competition in the wireless voice and broadband market and harm consumers.”

T-Mobile and Sprint say that if the merger goes through, they plan to invest nearly US$40 billion to roll out a nationwide 5G network. T-Mobile and Sprint argue that the new network will offer 5G speeds four to six times faster than each company could achieve independently, which will spur competition by forcing Verizon and AT&T to improve their own networks.

But the advocacy groups say the market will be more competitive with four companies than three.

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