[Update: CWA has released notes on its presentation that it gave to the FCC last week outlining why it thinks the T-Mobile Sprint merger should be blocked. Arguments include the potential competitive impact, employment impact, rural coverage claims, 5G claims, and more.]
T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed merger has seen pushback from various groups. One in particular, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), is concerned the deal could mean up to 30,000 lost jobs. Now, 14 organizations including Consumer Reports, CWA, and the American Antitrust Institute have shared with the House of Representatives why they believe the deal shouldn’t be allowed and also called for hearings on the merger proposal.
Today, leaders from the 14 organizations sent a letter to Congressmen Nadler and Pallone, who are the ranking members on the Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Energy & Commerce, respectively. The letter shares arguments for why the T-Mobile and Sprint merger should be blocked and also asks for hearings on the potential impacts of such a deal.
The organizations include:
- American Antitrust Institute
- Center for Media Justice
- Common Cause
- Communications Workers of America Consumer Reports
- Fight for the Future
- Free Press Action
- The Greenlining Institute
- National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low income clients
- New America’s Open Technology Institute
- Open Markets Institute
- Public Knowledge
- Rural Wireless Association Writers
- Guild of America West
The concerns range from job losses, it being an anti-competitive and anti-consumer deal, to even incentivizing Verizon, AT&T, and the new T-Mobile to “collude.”
Here are some statements from leaders of these organizations:
George Slover, Senior Policy Counsel at Consumer Reports: “Wireless is one of the few telecommunications markets where we see real head-to-head competition delivering benefits for consumers. We need to preserve this dynamic that comes from having both T-Mobile and Sprint in the marketplace, competing vigorously and independently against each other, and against AT&T and Verizon. The supposed benefits the companies are promising are speculative, don’t require a merger to achieve them, and certainly aren’t worth the costs to consumers. Hearings in the House will help shed further light on the problems with allowing these two telecom giants to combine forces.”
Diana Moss, President at American Antitrust Institute (AAI): “A Sprint-T-Mobile deal would complete the rollup of the national U.S. wireless market, creating the “Big 3” with strong incentives to collude rather than compete. Consumers and workers have a right to competition. DOJ should block this deal.”
Debbie Goldman, Research and Telecommunications Policy Director at the Communications Workers of America (CWA): “The proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger will eliminate 30,000 jobs across the country, while reducing competition and raising prices for consumers, especially for price-conscious pre-paid wireless customers. Meanwhile, it raises significant national security concerns and would fail to bring broadband to rural communities. The House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees can play important roles in exploring the merger’s potential anti-competitive effects and shining a light on its potential impact on American workers and consumers.”
Meanwhile, the FCC asked for comments on the latest T-Mobile and Sprint merger proposal earlier this month. The normal 180-day review clock was paused back in September, and will resume once the open comment period ends next month.
After T-Mobile and Sprint shifted their arguments for why the merger would be beneficial, and this latest barrage of concerns from 14 organizations, the odds of it happening seem to be diminishing.