I’ve got big news for all you monopolists out there: Members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just announced their support for the proposed $26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.
Commissioner Brendan Carr provided the following written statement:
I support the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint because Americans across the country will see more competition and an accelerated buildout of fast, 5G services. The proposed transaction will strengthen competition in the U.S. wireless market and provide mobile and in-home broadband access to communities that demand better coverage and more choices.
Chair Ajit Pai tweeted his support:
In light of the significant commitments made by @TMobile and @Sprint as well as the facts in the record to date, I believe that this transaction is in the public interest and intend to recommend to my colleagues that the @FCC approve it. My full statement: https://t.co/GPQFoPnSC8
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) May 20, 2019
To many critics, the proposed merger presented the opposite reality of what the FCC claims. Though it will provide for more competition for the top two carriers–AT&T and Verizon–it will significantly hinder any other upstarts from entering the industry. Not to mention, it will likely lead to fewer jobs as the two companies become one.
One can see the impact the merger would have thanks to data visualizations. If Sprint and T-Mobile coalesced into one much larger company, the diversity of wireless choices will significantly lessen.
Though the merger passed through the FCC, it isn’t in the clear just yet. The Department of Justice’s antitrust division has also been looking into the deal. It’s unclear if this latest decision will have an impact on that investigation.