Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Would Kill Jobs, Harm Consumers, Drive Up Prices

Statements From Coalition Experts

Note: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Ajit Pai has indicated that he would recommend approval of the megamerger of Sprint and T-Mobile. This $26 billion merger would bring together the third- and fourth-largest wireless providers. FCC approval would require Sprint to divest Boost Mobile and promise to deploy 5G service to rural America.

 

“Americans already pay too much for wireless service, and this job-killing merger will result in higher prices and fewer choices. Pai has completely failed to address any of the real harms this merger will cause with his proposed commitments from these companies. Public Citizen is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to stop this illegal and unnecessary merger.”

  • Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs, Public Citizen

 

“Approval of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger by the FCC would be another signal to U.S. citizens that our regulators continue to fail us even as we face a concentration crisis throughout our economy. This megamerger would lead to higher prices, lower quality mobile services, fewer jobs and lower wages for workers in the industry. The merger would hit rural Americans and poorer Americans especially hard. The FCC’s support for this merger is irresponsible behavior by an institution that should be protecting the interests of American citizens.”

  • Barry Lynn, executive director, Open Markets Institute

 

“These new commitments and conditions do nothing to address our concerns about the impact of this merger on T-Mobile and Sprint workers and consumers. The merger would mean the elimination of 30,000 jobs (PDF) as the new T-Mobile shuts down duplicative retail stores and consolidates headquarters functions. T-Mobile has made no written, verifiable commitments to the FCC to protect jobs. While T-Mobile has tried to muddy the waters with vague loophole-ridden pledges to maintain jobs for current T-Mobile and Sprint employees, three-quarters of current employees selling the companies’ services work for authorized dealers and are not covered by the jobs pledge – 88,000 workers in total. The companies’ rural promises also are overstated and don’t hold up to scrutiny. T-Mobile and Sprint’s own filings with the FCC show that even five years after the merger, 40 million Americans – mostly in rural communities – still would not have access to the new T-Mobile’s high-speed 5G wireless network. The impact of this merger on jobs, workers and consumers’ concerns must be taken seriously as part of the review process. The FCC, the DOJ and dozens of state regulators and attorneys general that are still reviewing the T-Mobile/Sprint merger should reject it as harmful and anticompetitive.”

  • Debbie Goldman, research and telecommunications policy director, Communications Workers of America (read her full statement)

 

“Sometimes technicalities obscure deeper truths. While technically Pai hasn’t worked for the telecom industry for several years, in a deeper sense he never really stopped promoting the interests of massive and growing telecom companies. I fear that among Pai, the other Republican commissioners and the FCC professional staff who have collaborated on permitting this merger, many will pass through the revolving door and end up on the direct or indirect payroll of telecom conglomerates upon their departure from what is supposed to be public service.”

  • Jeff Hauser, executive director, Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic Policy and Research

 

“Since the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint combination was announced more than a year ago, it has been clear that additional consolidation of the mobile broadband market would harm consumers and significantly reduce competition and innovation. The commitments announced by T-Mobile/Sprint and Pai do nothing to resolve these harms. It is astonishing that a commission with such a deregulatory bent would embrace such a regulatory approach, as a means of allowing a competition-destroying merger to go through. Even with Pai’s recommended conditions, the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint still would result in substantial price increases for wireless consumers. These higher prices would fall especially hard on low-income and prepaid customers who are least likely to be able to afford to pay higher prices and most likely to rely entirely on their mobile subscription for internet access.”

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