U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is leading 36 Democratic colleagues in an effort to block the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The action comes ahead of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the deal, now scheduled for next week.
The lawmakers sent letters Tuesday to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim, saying a combined entity would mean lost jobs for telecom workers and higher prices for low-income customers.
They called the deal “a gross example of corporate greed.”
“Both companies have the capacity and indeed intend to build 5G networks absent a merger,” say the lawmakers. “The sole reason for this merger between T-Mobile and Sprint appears to be helping a handful of individuals get significantly wealthier.” Among those signing the letters are Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). T-Mobile and Sprint did not immediately respond when asked for comment by The Hill.
The Communications Workers of America predicts the deal would lead to the loss of 30,000 jobs, affecting workers at the carriers and in retail locations. T-Mobile CEO John Legere disputed that figure during a House Commerce Committee hearing in February, Inside Towers reported. He said the estimate doesn’t take into account the positions that would be created by combining the two companies.
The combined entity would “give customers more for less, create new jobs” and help bridge the rural divide, wrote Legere in a blog post last month. He also promised the FCC the “new T-Mobile” would not raise rates for three years after the deal closed.
Nine Senators also called for regulators to reject the deal in February. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CN) and eight Senate colleagues expressed “staunch opposition” to the proposed merger and called on the FCC and DOJ to reject the proposal. Comments? Email Us.
March 7, 2019