The Federal Communications Commission has approved Sprint’s acquisition by T-Mobile this Tuesday, making the companies victorious in seeking a $26 billion merger after facing strong opposition from about 12 attorney generals as well as consumer advocacy groups.
This merger could possibly bring out a transformation in the wireless industry in US which has been witnessing a cutthroat competition over the last few years, right from customer contracts to prices. T-Mobile and Sprint, which are respectively the third and fourth biggest mobile carriers in the country have been taking a lead to bring an end to the early termination charges and reintroduction of unlimited data plans. Now there is uncertainty in the market place’s future as the two companies have joined together.
The deal was praised by the Republican majority of the FCC this Tuesday as they felt that this would help in accelerating the spread of 5G networks. Ajit Pai, Chairman of FCC said that this transaction would help in securing the leadership of US in 5G and will aid in closing digital divide prevailing in rural America which would in turn help in enhancing competition in the market. However two of the dissenting democrats of the agency did not show much optimism on this.
Jessica Roseworcel, FCC commissioner said that this merger would bring an end to the golden age of wireless. Geoffrey Starks, another democratic commissioner said that the merger would result in an increase in the wireless prices especially for the low-income urban people of US. Many commitments have been made by T-Mobile to secure the approval from FCC. They have assured to spin off Boost Mobile, a prepaid subsidiary of Sprint and have promised to build wireless internet of high speeds to large areas of the nation. Starks said that he was not confident that the merger would be helpful in protecting the competition and would cause any good in deploying 5G services than what would have been without the presence of a merger.
Although they have got approval from the Justice department and the FCC, there are still roadblocks for the deal as the coalition of states have sued they would block the merger in the federal court. The trial of this case is expected to be in the coming month.