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Groups Call for T-Mobile-Sprint House Hearing

Unions Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) have joined with Consumer Reports, Common Cause and others to call for House hearings on the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger in the next Congress. They are likely to get at least one given the views of the likely new chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

They wanted hearings in the current Republican-controlled Congress, too, but that didn't happen.

In letters to likely new House Energy & Commerce Committee chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), likely new chair of the House Judiciary Committee, the groups said that hearings in their respective committees would be an "excellent" first step toward the incoming Dems' "vision" of stronger antitrust enforcement--something Nadler has pushed for--and consumer protections, as well as toward standing up for workers.

Pallone also called for a hearing on the proposed deal back in April, so they are definitely preaching to the choir on that committee.

The groups said Pallone had correctly identified the committee's responsibility "to understand the potential effect of this merger on consumers, workers, and the communications market.”

The groups argue the merger would lead to job losses and reduced competition, while T-Mobile and Sprint say it would help them build out 5G and become a stronger number three to the two Baby Bell behemoth's, AT&T and Verizon.

Like Pallone, the groups want the committee to look at a combined T-Mobile-Sprint's "foreign ownership; whether 5G deployment is helped by the proposed merger, despite the fact that both T-Mobile and Sprint have invested in 5G already; and the state of wireless competition."