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California, other states end opposition to T-Mobile, Sprint merger

2020-03-11 18:38 by
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The California attorney general's office announced Wednesday that it would not appeal a federal court decision approving the $26 billion T-Mobile and Sprint merger.

The companies said the deal would benefit consumers by helping the companies build a better next-generation, 5G wireless network than each could do alone. The companies also said the deal would lead to lower prices, as they can better compete with the now-larger AT&T and Verizon. A federal judge in New York sided with the companies in February.

According to the terms of the settlement, the New T-Mobile, as the combined company is called, is now required to make low-cost mobile plans available in California for the next five years, including a $15-per-month 2GB plan and a $25-per-month 5GB plan. It must offer 100GB of no-cost high-speed internet service and a free mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device to 10 million low-income households that are currently going without access for five years. The settlement also requires the New T-Mobile to create around 1,000 new jobs in the state and maintain the ones that already exist there.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission signed off on the merger last year after the companies agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television company Dish Network, and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.

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