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T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Turns Two Disruptors into One “Mega Company,” Dems Warn

US Senate - NWIDA - Sprint T-Mobile MergerAccording to a story in Ars Technica (link below), Five US Senators warned that the T-Mobile US/Sprint merger could hurt consumers and urged the Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the deal. 

The letter was sent by Sens. Edward Markey (MA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Tom Udall (NM), Tammy Baldwin (WI), and Richard Blumenthal (CT). They also sent the letter to Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA). They also sent a letter to Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (MS) asking him to schedule a hearing on the proposed merger. 

The letter included the following:

The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint would reduce the number of national wireless carriers from four to three. This reduction in competition raises a number of important questions that the Committee should address. Since the merger was announced, some have argued that it will lead to harmful repercussions for consumers such as higher prices, fewer choices, and less flexibility in switching carriers. For example, both T-Mobile and Sprint consistently offer competitive products that have exerted pressure on AT&T and Verizon to offer more consumer-friendly data plans and eliminate restrictive long-term contracts. We should examine the impact of combining these two disruptors into one mega company. Additional questions have been asked about how this merger could adversely impact low-income consumers because T-Mobile and Sprint are currently direct competitors in offering prepaid services.

The committee has jurisdiction over the wireless industry and the FCC and has a “responsibility to assess the effects of this potential consolidation,” the Democrats wrote.

Congress can’t block the merger directly, but lawmakers can apply pressure on the FCC and Department of Justice, the agencies that could try to block the deal or impose conditions on it.

    You can read entire article here

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