Public Knowledge to Hill: T-Mobile-Sprint is Presumptively Illegal

Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel, Public Knowledge, plans to mince no words with Congress as he argues for why the T-Mobile-Sprint deal should not be allowed, either by denying it outright, or designating it for hearing, which would effectively kill it as well.

"The proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile is a bad deal for consumers, competition, and America’s wireless future," he says in his prepared testimony for a Feb. 13 House Communications Subcommittee hearing on the proposed merger.

Related: T-Mobile's Legere Says We Are the Uncable, Too

He says that the companies have had months to make the pro-consumer case for reducing competition, but has not done so. He also says the deal will raise prices, reduce competition, and is "presumptively illegal" based on market competition alone.

The companies say that reducing the number of top carriers from four to three is actually increasing competition to the top two carriers, AT&T and Verizon.

Hardly, says Public Knowledge.

Berenbroick suggested the government's decision was simple: "[T]he proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger is unlawful under the antitrust laws and harms the public interest. Policymakers should oppose this transaction, the Department of Justice should move to block it, and the Federal Communications Commission should deny the merger or designate the companies’ application for review by an administrative law judge."

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.