FCC approves merger of T-Mobile and Sprint2019-10-17 17:39 by Daniela
Tags: FCC, T-Mobile, Sprint
On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission formally approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, an FCC official told The Verge. The official approval order from the FCC isn't yet public. It's expected to come out in a few days. The vote comes months after the Justice Department greenlit the deal.
The FCC and DOJ are the only two federal agencies required to approve telecom deals before they can close. However, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger faces one more battle before they plan to close the deal - a multi-state lawsuit brought by attorneys general seeking to block the merger. The states claim combining the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the nation would hurt consumers and competition.
"The promises made by Dish and T-Mobile in this deal are the kinds of promises only robust competition can guarantee," New York Attorney General Letitia James said. "We have serious concerns that cobbling together this new fourth mobile player, with the government picking winners and losers, will not address the merger's harm to consumers, workers, and innovation."
Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Sprint must provide at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations to Dish, and the Colorado-based satellite TV provider will also get total access to T-Mobile's network for the next seven years while Dish builds out its 5G network. With the divestitures, Dish has the potential to become the fourth major US wireless carrier after T-Mobile and Sprint merge into one.
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