T-Mobile-Sprint Deal Gets New Scrutiny from States

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Twelve state attorney generals are investigating the antitrust ramifications of the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint deal, alongside the DOJ and FCC. Some went public with their concerns this week, asserting the combined entity could harm competition. The states can sue to block the merger on antitrust grounds, even if federal officials approve the transaction.

The New York Attorney General is leading the investigation with California, Tennessee and Florida, reported Bloomberg. Other states that are part of the group include Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Virginia, according to FCC records. The District of Columbia, is part of the group also.

The state group has hired economists to assist in its review, according to three sources. Economists could act as expert witnesses if the states sue to block the deal.

Sprint declined comment. T-Mobile said in a statement, it’s having “good conversations” with states. “We will keep working closely with all state leaders to demonstrate the value of this merger for consumers they represent and how it is pro-competition,” the company told Bloomberg.

The states are especially concerned the combined entity would raises prices, which would disproportionately affect low-income customers. T-Mobile told the FCC it would not raise prices for three years once the deal loses.

The companies have told Congress that together, they can create a stronger competitor to AT&T and Verizon, Inside Towers reported. Combining resources, they say, will also enable to them to build a better 5G network.  Comments? Email Us.

March 8, 2019

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