Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft order to approve the Sprint/T-Mobile merger. The move follows the Department of Justice’s approval of the deal, pending the divestiture of prepaid brands and customers, as well as several side agreements designed to accelerate Dish Network’s entry into the wireless market.
Today, 10 state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, announced that they have filed a multi-state lawsuit to stop the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Plaintiffs include New York, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In 2011, Public Knowledge fought hard against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, until it was finally called off just nine months after its announcement. The merger, which would have led to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers, faced tremendous opposition. Today, we see many of the same industry talking points for the T-Mobile/Sprint proposed merger: false claims about deployment of next-generation networks, market concentration, pricing, and rural broadband access. So we were glad to see that the Yale School of Management added a section on the AT&T/T-Mobile proposed merger as a case study to its Antitrust Enforcement Data project. The project, featuring a wide range of data, serves as a resource for information and economic analyses on antitrust enforcement.
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement announcing his support of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger with modest conditions. The proposed merger is still pending approval by the full FCC as well as the Department of Justice, state Attorneys General, and the California Public Utilities Commission. Public Knowledge opposes the transaction as a member of the 4Competition Coalition, filed a Petition to Deny with the FCC, and testified against the deal on Capitol Hill.
Today, Public Knowledge, joined by Common Cause, Consumers Union, New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Writers Guild of America West filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to deny the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.