A couple dozen opponents of the T-Mobile-Sprint deal say the companies have not come close to establishing that the merger of the number three and four wireless carriers is in the public interest and told the FCC again this week not to approve it.
"Our nation’s antitrust and telecommunications laws set a purposefully high bar for mergers that consolidate a market to this degree," they said, and the deal does not clear it.
They did not offer any conditions that would make the deal acceptable, instead flatly saying the deal needs to be rejected.
There were reports this week that the Justice Department may have issues with the deal, though T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that was not the case.
"All of these diverse stakeholders have one clear message: The Department and Commission should reject this merger, because it means less competition, fewer choices, and higher prices for consumers," they told the FCC.
That diverse group includes AFL-CIO, CWA, Writers Guild of America West, Dish, Consumer Reports, INCOMPAS, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, Public Knowledge, and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association.
Sprint and T-Mobile said the merger will create a stronger "uncarrier" competitor to the former Bells, AT&T and Verizon; will not result in job losses, and will further the Administration's goal of closing the digital divide and winning the race to 5G, as Legere tweeted this week:
The deal has some support on the Hill, including from former House Communications Subcommittee ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
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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.
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