T-Mobile/Sprint merger has the FCC's formal approval now, but it's still not a done deal

T-Mobile/Sprint merger has the FCC's formal approval now, but it's still not a done deal
The inevitable has happened after months of (largely unnecessary) waiting, at least according to The Verge, which has received word from an unnamed "FCC official" that the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is now formally approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

The regulatory government agency's Chairman had already expressed his support for the $26 billion deal way back in May, so it's certainly not surprising to hear a "party-line vote" is officially moving the union between the nation's third and fourth-largest wireless network operators yet another step closer to completion. 

Ajit Pai's position was reportedly backed by Republican Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr, while Democrats Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks predictably opposed the merger in line with a number of presidential candidates and other leading figures of the "donkey party."

In theory, T-Mobile and Sprint's head honchos should be busy doing their victory dances right about now, as technically, their mega-deal only needs the green light from the FCC and US Justice Department to go through. But although the DOJ gave its blessing several months ago, a number of states are still blocking the creation of "New T-Mobile." Even after Florida AG recently came out in support of Magenta's annexation of the "Now Network" and Mississippi backed out of the lawsuit that's delaying the conclusion of a saga kicked off a full 18 months ago, more than a dozen state attorneys general remain involved in said legal action.

Without going into too much detail for the umpteenth time, let's just say critics of the deal fear competition would be stifled by essentially moving from a big four-dominated industry to a big three situation. Of course, this "New T-Mobile" giant would have a far better shot at breaking up the Verizon/AT&T duopoly than T-Mo and Sprint currently have, not to mention Dish is ready to step in and acquire both Sprint's entire prepaid business and its 800 MHz spectrum to ensure market competition will remain (theoretically) the same.

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9 Comments

1. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2272; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

iPhone 11 Pro Max requires $350-$700 down. What a joke. Whereas Verizon is $0 down. Why is that? You're still paying $30/mo on your bill/mo even with that amount down. Makes no sense.

2. seantn4

Posts: 56; Member since: Dec 11, 2018

It's based on credit. I have plenty of people leave with zero down

5. LordDavon

Posts: 172; Member since: Sep 19, 2011

People can leave with $0 down with a trade in of an older device (they still have to pay the taxes), but the trade is what is paying the $350 down... it is still $350 down minimum.

8. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2272; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Exactly! Good point LordDavon! In the end people think that TMO but in reality TMO loves upfront costs before ownership on “flagship” phones.

11. lyndon420

Posts: 6868; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Define apple care, and how it doesn't (also) translate into upfront costs...?

14. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2272; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Apple care is optional and not required to buy an iPhone. Also Apple Care can be purchased monthly and not upfront. Your argument is care protection vs equipment charge. Apple to oranges when it comes to upfront costs.

7. RoryBreaker

Posts: 246; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

In perfect time for 5G!

9. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2272; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Carriers aren’t moving/selling tons of 5G phones. It will take Apple to move more 5G phones next year than Android combined in 2019.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's some spin on Apple perpetually playing catchup.

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