Makena Kelly, the Verge:
The United States Justice Department has approved the $26 billion merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint. After over a year in regulatory limbo, the merger received the green light from the last federal agency to hold out, with the Federal Communications Commission already signaling that it will approve the deal.
Karl Bode, Vice:
The DOJ says it will impose requirements offsetting the competitive harm of the deal. More specifically, the DOJ says that T-Mobile and Sprint will need to offload Sprint’s Boost Mobile and some spectrum to Dish Network, who’ll then attempt to build a new, viable fourth competitor from these scraps to offset the elimination of Sprint from the market.
But experts consulted by Motherboard say the proposal isn’t likely to work, and the end result of the merger will still very likely be higher prices and worse service for all.
For one thing, Dish has been promising to build a wireless network for the better part of the last decade with little to show for it. The company has routinely been accused of “spectrum squatting,” or buying spectrum it doesn’t use in a bid to turn around and sell it later when it’s more valuable. Even T-Mobile made this complaint when Dish initially criticized the merger.
At risk of being redundant, it would be cool if even 10% of the hyperventilation over Facebook and “big tech” was also applied to big telecom and dumb megamergers.
I’m Canadian, so I can attest to the drop in overall quality and increased prices that Americans can expect as their telecom options continue to deteriorate. It’s bad now in the United States; I can only imagine how awful it will become with the combined results of no net neutrality legislation, and the conglomeration of telecom and entertainment companies.
One last thing from Kelly:
T-Mobile’s connections to the Trump administration have come under heightened scrutiny as the deal has progressed. In March, The Washington Post reported that the company had spent over $195,000 at the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC while lobbying for the merger.
There’s a long list of legal, moral, ethical, and cultural grievances with this administration, but the ease and openness of its corruption is a revolting spectacle.