Democrats, including three presidential candidates, want FCC to delay vote on T-Mobile-Sprint

Democrats, including three presidential candidates, want FCC to delay vote on T-Mobile-Sprint
Back in May, after T-Mobile agreed to a bunch of conditions (including a three-year price freeze and a promise to cover 97% of the country with low-band 5G signals within three years), FCC Chairman Ait Pai said that he would recommend that his fellow commissioners sign off on the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has already approved the deal after setting up Dish Network to replace Sprint as the "fourth nationwide facilities-based network competitor." With the FCC vote due soon, several Democrats are asking the FCC to delay the tally so that the public has a chance to comment on it. Considering that Pai is a Trump appointee and has shown loyalty to the president, we don't expect any delay to take place.

It appears that those complaining about the transaction don't fully understand the implications of the deal with Dish, or don't believe that it will lead to a competitive replacement for Sprint. Our position all along has been that a combined T-Mobile-Sprint would provide more challenges to Verizon and AT&T than the status quo. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) wrote a letter to the FCC (via The Verge) asking the agency to delay voting on the $26.5 billion merger until the public has the opportunity to comment on it. Klobuchar has supported the lawsuit filed by 15 state attorneys general and the AG of Washington D.C. that seeks to block the deal. A trial is slated to begin on December 9th, and both wireless operators have reportedly begun very preliminary settlement talks in an attempt to get the suit dropped. However, one person with knowledge of the talks says that both sides are "miles apart." Senator Klobuchar's letter is also signed by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

T-Mobile wants Sprint's mid-range 2.5GHz spectrum to help it build out its 5G network




T-Mobile would like to merge with Sprint in order to obtain the latter's hoard of mid-range 2.5GHz spectrum. By adding the mid-range airwaves to its low-frequency 600MHz holdings and its mmWave spectrum, T-Mobile hopes to be the first wireless operator in the U.S. to complete the build-out of a nationwide 5G network sometime next year. Just in case the merger does not close, the carrier has reportedly been asking the FCC to auction off some mid-band spectrum in the 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz range. Because it is the fastest-growing of the major U.S. wireless providers, T-Mobile won't be as negatively affected as Sprint or Dish Network if the deal cannot overcome the obstacles that have been thrown in its way.

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7 Comments

1. Jrod99

Posts: 729; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Dang. I thought this was a done deal already?

2. stferrari

Posts: 56; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

As AWAYS these idiot politicians (especially the progressive/liberal kind) will do anything to get their name in print. What they don't seem to grasp is, short of a miracle, Sprint is a shrinking/vanishing carrier. Given it's current business trajectory, we will end up with only three major carriers anyway. At least this merger would net a carrier that would put even more competitive pressure on the big "V" and "A". Competition always results in increased benefits to users.

3. bigstrudel

Posts: 602; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Democrats should not be so involved in protecting mega corporations like Verizon and ATT (Bell) from having to face competition: as COMBINED T-Mobile and Sprint is still smaller than either one. I voted for Bill Clinton and Obama but this party has become corporate trash protecting the biggest tech and corporations: and has the biggest corporate donors. Democrats used to also be against government spying on the public: not a peep from them now! In fact they seem to trust the FBI and CIA implicitly. Its honestly hilarious. I'll never vote for a Democrat again.

4. Alcyone

Posts: 386; Member since: May 10, 2018

I'm jaded. I gave up on voting years ago. Not enough people vote for the better of two evil. Republican or Democrat, that's all the people are allowed to vote. No real change can happen when the majority of people are asleep and vote based on what their told.

8. FAQMD1

Posts: 17; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

The politicians should go after Dish for buying spectrum and sitting on it for the last 4 years and not developing their network thereby creating the issue of only 4 major carriers. Tell Dish they need to have their network up and running by next June 2020 or else they loose all their spectrum and it will be re-auctioned off to the highest bidder ... The Sprint & T-Mobile merger needs to happen how.

9. jetstu

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 02, 2019

Did the AT&T merger with Direct TV have this much scrutiny or with Time Warner. Let’s move on and stop wasting so much time with this merger. It’s approved. The world has more serious concerns to be focused on.

10. CSmyre64

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 19, 2019

Heck I'm with T-Mobile on with the merger so's I can get better coverage Already geez. So is US Cellular not a carrier anymore lol. Plus 1 for stferrari, it's merge or die for Sprint. So what's the question...

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