FCC Chairman Signals Support of T-Mobile, Sprint Merger

By Paul Riegler on 20 May 2019
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A T-Mobile store in New York CIty

A T-Mobile store in New York CIty

T-Mobile US and Sprint announced a series of concessions on Monday that would allow their planned $26 billion merger to proceed while the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said he would recommend that the deal be approved.

The merger would require the approval of both the FCC and the Department of Justice.

The two companies agreed to sell one of their prepaid brands, a three-year timeframe to construct their 5G network, and the reiteration of a pledge not to raise prices while the network is under construction.

The deal is still being scrutinized by the DOJ, which has not yet indicated whether the changes to the deal would be sufficient to give it the green light. It is also being scrutinized by several state attorneys general.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he would support the revised deal.

“Two of the FCC’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity,” said Pai in a statement Monday. “The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a tweet that the news was “a very important step.”

Under the terms of the new deal, the merged entity would divest Sprint’s Boost prepaid unit while keeping Virgin Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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