WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, FCC Chairman Pai lent his support to the T-Mobile/Sprint merger following additional concessions from the parties. Chairman Pai noted that the merged entity has committed to combining the infrastructure of T-Mobile with the spectrum assets of Sprint to deploy a 5G network to 97% of the nation’s population in three years, and 99% within five years. The parties also agreed to divest the Boost Mobile unit, which currently offers pre-paid wireless calling services.
“We at TechFreedom applaud Chairman Pai’s realistic approach to this merger,” said TechFreedom General Counsel Jim Dunstan. “If the FCC is serious about 5G deployment through the traditional market approach of carriers investing their own dollars rather than bloated and inefficient government programs handing out billions of taxpayer dollars, then we need a strong third competitor to push 5G deep into rural America.”
TechFreedom has supported the “four into three” merger where the third and fourth largest carriers are so far behind the traditional incumbents. “It just makes competitive sense. We do remain concerned, however, of the price merger applicants are forced to pay to gain approval. Time and again regulatory agencies extract concessions that appear to go beyond the requirements of the antitrust laws. Here Boost Mobile is being divested. If the FCC is convinced that it could not grant the merger without that divestiture, it is incumbent on the FCC to make that case in the order granting the merger, not just sluff it off as something the parties are willing to give. Extracting these ‘pounds of flesh’ can have negative market consequences if not actually required under a valid antitrust analysis,” Dunstan concluded.
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We can be reached for comment at email@example.com. See more of our work on the wireless industry, including:
- Our comments in the FCC proceeding on the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger
- Our statement “Combining Sprint & T-Mobile Will Benefit Consumers”
- Our statement on the idea of a government-run 5G network
- Our statement on the FCC’s past efforts to speed 5G deployment
- Tech Policy Podcast #205: Who Owns the Airwaves?
- Tech Policy Podcast # 242: Hybrid Networks and the Future of Wireless