Dish Files Petition to Deny T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

Satellite operator Dish Network has asked the FCC to deny the proposed merger between the number three and four wireless carriers.

Sprint and T-Mobile have argued that they need to get together to become a force in 5G and to provide more competition to top carriers AT&T and Verizon. But Dish says they are overstating the impact on 5G of their merger and that it is better for consumers and competition if they remain standalone competitors.

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To allow them to merge, Dish says, would be to forfeit years of head-to-head competition. It also says they have not shown that the merged company benefits would outweigh the likely harms.

Dish says that maverick T-Mobile will be tamed by the deal and that pricing for a New T-Mobile would be much more aligned with those of the incumbents they have historically competed against on price. Rather than being the "un-carrier," the combined company would be more like the "incumbent" carrier, Dish says.

Petitions to deny were due Monday (Aug. 27).

"Economic analysis and empirical evidence demonstrate that, instead of enhancing competition, such consolidation is apt to thwart it," Dish told the FCC. "In seeking approval for this transaction, the Applicants must show that the proposed merger will not have anti-competitive effects, or that any such effects will be more than offset by the public benefits that it will produce. But, Sprint and T-Mobile have not yet met this burden, and much work needs to be done for them to carry it."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.