FCC's O'Rielly 'Inclined' to Approve T-Mobile-Sprint Deal

It looks like FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has the votes to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint deal.

Pai announced Monday (May 20) that he would be circulating an order, with a number of conditions and one spin-off, to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint deal. Soon after, Republican commissioner Brendan Carr said he, too, would be voting for it.

FCC officials speaking on background said the companies offered the new conditions and divestiture Monday and it would have been odd not to comment on them.

Now the third vote he needs, in this case in the form of third Republican Michael O'Rielly, appears to be his as well.

O'Rielly tweeted the following Monday afternoon:


T-Mobile has said that without the deal, it would have a hard time rolling out a nationwide 5G network, which is a priority of both the FCC and the Trump Administration more broadly.

The conditions include buildout and price pledges, and spinning off Boost Mobile, the low-cost prepaid wireless service. 

John Eggerton

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.