Proposed T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Gains Support From FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

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United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said this week that he would recommend approval of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint (via Bloomberg). The news comes after T-Mobile and Sprint announced changes to their $26.5 billion merger agreement, including the sale of the prepaid brand Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of their 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built.


Under the new plan, the companies will sell off Sprint's Boost Mobile brand, but keep Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile's Metro brand. If Sprint and T-Mobile had kept all three, they would have owned the largest chunk of the prepaid cellular market in the United States, totaling about 42 percent of the market.

“Two of the FCC’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity,” Pai said in a statement Monday. “The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives.”

If completed, the new combined company would ditch the Sprint name and be called T-Mobile, and current T-Mobile CEO John Legere would serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Sprint and T-Mobile have said the new company will be a "force for positive change" in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries, supercharging T-Mobile's Un-carrier strategy and allowing it to "lead in the 5G era."

Although Pai's approval is a big step, the merger still needs to be approved by the full FCC board and the Department of Justice. In April, Sprint and T-Mobile announced a deadline extension for the merger to July 29, 2019.

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago

That's not increasing competition though. There are now going to be less cellular providers.

It's almost comical to call Sprint a competing cellular provider. This merger gives T-Mobile/Sprint a fighting chance in the marketplace.

I don't know what will happen moving forward, but T-Mobile and Sprint have in recent memory been making changes for the good of the consumer with Verizon and AT&T only making changes to somewhat match what T-Mobile has done.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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16 months ago
Sounds good to me. We're moving from having two top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon) with two secondary companies (Sprint vs T-Mobile) to having three top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon vs T-Mobile). The whole mess of cheaper options are still there, and the increased competition at the top should help to cause AT&T and Verizon to offer cheaper and better plans.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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16 months ago

Sounds good to me. We're moving from having two top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon) with two secondary companies (Sprint vs T-Mobile) to having three top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon vs T-Mobile). The whole mess of cheaper options are still there, and the increased competition at the top should help to cause AT&T and Verizon to offer cheaper and better plans.

That's not increasing competition though. There are now going to be less cellular providers.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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16 months ago

That's not increasing competition though. There are now going to be less cellular providers.

I had sprint on my work line. I would not put them in a “carrier” competitor category. Abysmal.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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16 months ago

For both company customers, be ready for price increase. For the both company employees, be prepared for restructuring effect. Any duplication functions and divisions will be streamlined, which generally would lead lay off unfortunately. I wish the best for both companies customers and employees.

As part of the agreement they've agreed not to raise prices for three years. After that it is anyone's guess.

I just hope they don't seel Boost off to American Movil. That would not help the discount wireless industry.

The issue with the employees is bad. But it is better for them to do it now the unemployment rate is so low rather than to have to do it in the next economic downturn.
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It's almost comical to call Sprint a competing cellular provider. This merger gives T-Mobile/Sprint a fighting chance in the marketplace.

I'm very happy with my Sprint service. But I agree 100% with what you said above. Sprint just doesn't have the subscriber base necessary to build out a nationwide network by itself.

I live in a heavily populated area. (I think I hav five Apple Retail Stores within 45 minutes of me.) So I have great Sprint coverage. But I realize that many others are not in a similar situation. There are others who may only have one option because of where they live.

I am not going to say that this will end well for everyone. There is no way I can do that. But having three carriers that can compete head-to-head on a 5G buildout beats having just two.

Now, I would like to see the FCC mandate certain coverage requirements for 5G buildout. I would like to see something like you have to guarantee that you can cover, 95% of the U.S. population with either 5G or 4G cellular service and set minumum download and upload speeds for each.

The airwaves are owned by the people of the United States and they should be managed for the greatest benefit of the people of the United States, not just for a few or three mega-corporations. And no, I don't hold out hope that the current FCC Chairman has that in mind.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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16 months ago
Of course he would...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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