The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is squarely behind the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger, calling it long overdue.
"In an industry as capital intensive as mobile broadband, scale is the name of the game," said ITIF director of broadband and spectrum policy Doug Brake. "The opportunity to have three healthy, roughly equal-sized competitors fighting it out to deploy 5G should be a welcomed development for the U.S. economy.
"A combined firm means not only a more efficient build-out of next-generation networks, but a more dynamic future for the converging broadband, media, and video ecosystem," Brake added.
The likely key to whether the FCC or Justice Department agree with that assessment is whether the combination of the number three and four wireless carriers is seen as reducing competition, or creating a stronger competitor to former Bells Verizon and AT&T.
Sprint and T-Mobile were certainly pitching that argument in announcing the $146 billion merger proposal, suggesting they would retain T-Mobile's "uncarrier" status, just on a larger scale and with an eye toward helping the U.S. be a leader in 5G, which is an expressed priority for the Trump Administration.
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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.