Telecom: Sprint and T-Mobile propose merger
Sprint and T-Mobile announced this week they have agreed to a merger, in a deal that would shrink the U.S. wireless market to “just three national players,” said Michael de la Merced and Cecilia Kang in The New York Times. The combined company, which would keep the T-Mobile name, would have more than 100 million subscribers, making it the nation’s second-biggest carrier, able to compete with longtime market leaders AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile attempted a merger four years ago but were blocked by regulators concerned that the deal would lower consumer choice and hike costs.
“It’s too soon to tell” if this new deal will raise prices for consumers, said Brian Fung in The Washington Post. Before regulators bless the merger, they will once again examine whether consumers might be harmed if there is one fewer carrier competing in the market. T-Mobile and Sprint will no doubt argue that consumers will benefit with their investments in 5G technology, which enables smartphones “to surf the internet at speeds comparable to some of the fastest in-home internet connections today.” The companies say that “only together can they pour enough resources into the project to have a world-class 5G network that’s competitive with AT&T and Verizon.”