The FCC looking for comments on yet another T-Mobile-Sprint merger study, prepares to unpause the 180-day decision clock
In its latest effort to gather as many opinions as possible, the FCC is allowing the public to submit comments on study recently presented by the merger applicants. The material titled “Economic Analysis of the Proposed T-Mobile/Sprint Merger” was submitted by T-Mobile on November 6 and as you can imagine showcases the economic benefits of the acquisition. According to the FCC it “represents a substantial body of new material on economic issues central to the review of the proposed transaction”.
The Commission considers the newly presented data important enough to require the gathering of comments from both individuals and corporate entities but notes that those who want to contribute should only focus on the latest study. The deadline for submitting a comment is December 4, 2018 and one can go about doing it either electronically or by paper, following the FCC's rules regarding each method.
If T-Mobile or Sprint haven’t submitted further materials that need additional public comments by December 4, the FCC is planning to resume its 180-day clock. The 180-day clock is counting down the time left for the FCC to make its decision about the merger. It was paused on September 11 on day 55 of the 180 to allow more time for discussion and examination of the submitted documentation both for and against the merger.
The 180-day period is informal, and the FCC isn’t bound by any rule or law to make the decision within that time frame. When you add to that the possibility of pausing the clock at any time, there’s really no guarantee when the final verdict will be out.