WGAW, Others Ask FCC to Deny T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

Public Knowledge, Writers Guild of America West and others have joined to ask the FCC to deny the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger.

Petitions to deny the deal were due today (Aug. 27), with oppositions to those due Sept. 17, and replies due Oct. 9.

Related: FCC Seeks Comment on Sprint-T-Mobile

While the companies say the combo would create a more powerful competitor to AT&T and Verizon, the groups say it would reduce the number of national carriers from four to three, a "drastic reduction" they said would likely harm competition and raise prices to consumers.

Related: T-Mobile Seeks OK of 100% Foreign Ownership

“By nearly any measure, today’s wireless marketplace is already excessively consolidated," said Public Knowledge. "However, for the past several years, aggressive competition by T-Mobile and Sprint has provided numerous benefits to consumers, such as the reintroduction of unlimited data plans, lower prices, the elimination of two-year contracts, early upgrades, and free international data roaming. Without independent T-Mobile and Sprint challenging Verizon Wireless and AT&T, and each other, consumers are unlikely to continue to reap the benefits they have accrued from four-firm competition."

Also joining in the petition to deny were Common Cause, Consumers Union and New America's Open Technology Institute.

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.