The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

FCC Should Focus on Economic Benefits of T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


On June 18, 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint submitted their requests with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approval to merge their companies together to form a stronger, more nimble company called New T-Mobile.  With this merger request, one can expect the usual outcry of those who believe that competition of three is anti-competitive, and the wireless marketplace requires a fourth competitor. 

This ill-conceived notion of competition loss doesn’t really sell well in today’s converging telecommunications ecosystem.  It also fails to recognize and does a disservice to the number of wireless providers who are not part of the “big four” offering communications services across the country.  According to CTIA, the wireless association, there are nearly 100 wireless providers nationwide, with nearly every American having the choice between three or more service providers.  Therefore, even with the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, competition will still thrive in today’s marketplace.

The wireless industry is constantly evolving and changing, and the FCC must look beyond how many large competitors are in the wireless industry.  Instead, the agency should focus on the benefits that will be derived from the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, including investments in infrastructure and new networks; how the two companies plan to transition their existing customers into the newly formed entity; the overall economic benefits of the merger; and, how the new company will affect future technology transitions to 5G and beyond.

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