CA, NY and Other States Sue to Stop Sprint-T-Mobile Merger
CA, NY and Other States Sue to Stop Sprint-T-Mobile Merger
T-Mobile’s Sprint Deal Should Be on Death WatchMore
12 June, 2019, 12:30
Sprint Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure and John Legere, his counterpart at T-Mobile, met with Justice Department officials on Monday, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of ny.
But then late last month, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recommended that the FCC approve the deal after Sprint and T-Mobile made some revisions to the structure of the planned merger, causing Sprint's share price to soar.
"They see the FCC accepting certain remedies and concessions that don't, in their minds, solve the problem", she said.
Along with James, nine other attorneys general attached themselves to the suit from states including California, Connecticut, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
T-Mobile, whose parent company is Deutsche Telekom AG, and Sprint, controlled by Japan's SoftBank Group Ltd, did not comment.
While T-Mobile and Sprint have made promises that their merger would offer lightning-fast speeds and increased capacity, the Attorneys General investigation found that numerous claimed benefits were unverifiable and could only be delivered years into the future, if ever.
On Tuesday, the deal's leading critics called on the Justice Department to join state attorneys general in challenging Sprint and T-Mobile in court.
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The states are acting independently from DOJ, James said, and conducted a year-long investigation prior to filing the suit.
A formal complaint was filed in NY federal court, and revealed today, claiming that a merger of the third and fourth largest cellular networks in the United States would damage competition and raise bills and prices for millions of Americans. The Justice Department's antitrust division is also still reviewing the deal.
The states' complaint also said that divesting Boost would not resolve competitive concerns since Boost would be dependent on another carrier to provide network access, meaning that it is not independent.
T-Mobile and Sprint have argued that they need to bulk up to upgrade to a fast, powerful "5G" mobile network that competes with Verizon and AT&T.
It's unusual, though not unprecedented, for states to band together to challenge mergers. The U.S.is in a politically sensitive race with China to be on top as this technology is developed and implemented. The companies also agreed to sell the prepaid brand Boost Mobile.
The two companies have been in regular contact with regulators as they lobby for approval.
In May Pai and the FCC gave a thumbs up to the deal with the chairman touting the deal's potential improvements for 5G network deployment and increasing coverage in rural America. They say that combining Sprint and T-Mobile will make the industry as a whole - Verizon and AT&T, too - less likely to offer plans and services that consumers like. T-Mobile and Sprint led the return of unlimited-data cellphone plans, for example.
T-Mobile now has more than 79 million subscribers and is a majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG. So with T-Mobile (TMUS) now trading at $75.35, Sprint's stock (S) should be closer to $7.73 than the current $6.58 if investors were 100% confident that the deal is going to go through.
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