Sprint and T-Mobile merger gets federal approval

Posted:
in General Discussion
The two cellphone carriers T-Mobile and Sprint are closer to merging as "New T-Mobile," following a US District judge's approval of the $26.5 billion merger.

T-Mobile


As expected, US District Jude Victor Marrero has approved the merger of cell carriers T-Mobile and Sprint. The merger still has to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, but this announcement was seen as the last major hurdle to the $26.5 billion deal.

More than a dozen state Attorneys General had argued in front of the judge that merging these two companies would result in lessened competition.

"The combined market share of Sprint and T-Mobile would result in an increase in market
concentration that significantly exceeds the thresholds at which mergers are presumed to violate the antitrust laws," said a suit filed by the opposing parties. "This increased market concentration will result in diminished competition, higher prices, and reduced quality and innovation."

This merger represents T-Mobile and Sprint's third attempt to join their companies, and this effort was announced plan to merge back in April 2018. It was approved by the Department of Justice in July 2019.

Then in November 2019, the FCC approved the merger as well.

To get through these approval processes, T-Mobile offered concessions including a commitment to sell off Sprint's Boost Mobile subsidiary. Both T-Mobile and Sprint also committed to a three-year plan for expanding 5G coverage.

T-Mobile and Spring are, respectively, the US's third and fourth-largest cell carriers. The combined New T-Mobile will have 127 million customers, compared to AT&T's 144 million and Verizon's 150 million.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,454member
    Sign up with SPOBILE today!
    curtis hannah
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Spring?!  
  • Reply 3 of 16
    I bet Sprints argument was “we’re such a poorly run company, if we don’t merge we’ll go bankrupt”. So, here’s no reduced competition because there’d be one less carrier anyways.

    cornchiplordjohnwhorfincurtis hannah
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Spring?!  
    T-Slow?  

    With a hip hop CEO.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    I bet Sprints argument was “we’re such a poorly run company, if we don’t merge we’ll go bankrupt”. So, here’s no reduced competition because there’d be one less carrier anyways.

    That’s exactly what the judge said in his ruling actually. 

    I bet it’d be worse if they went bankrupt because then AT&T and Verizon would be able to acquire some of their assets making them even stronger. 
    cornchipseanismorriscurtis hannah
  • Reply 6 of 16
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,873member
    As a pretty happy T-Mobile customer I just hope they don’t absorb any of Sprint’s $#!%%yness. That’s really all I can hope for in a carrier. 
    pulseimageslordjohnwhorfincurtis hannahGG1
  • Reply 7 of 16
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,446member
    More for those that got theirs and less for those that got none. 
    lordjohnwhorfindysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 16
    As a former AT&T customer I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be with that company. T-mobile is far superior. 
    lordjohnwhorfincurtis hannah
  • Reply 9 of 16
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    Usually less choice is bad, but in this case hopefully the new joint company will be a viable option to ATT and Verizon. I would not have considered T or Sprint on their own, but hopefully they will complement each other with expanded coverage.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Yep, Sprint wasn't going to make it long term, so one way or the other, we were only going to have 3 major carriers within the next few years.  But this merger is far better than AT&T and Verizon snatching up portions of Sprint and then putting the squeeze on TMobile afterward.

    Full disclosure: I've been with TMo for 2+ years now and been very happy overall, so this will only make it better.
    hawkpride147
  • Reply 11 of 16
    As a former AT&T customer I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be with that company. T-mobile is far superior. 


    "Thank you for calling AT&T support about the problem that you're having.  In an effort to make you a happy customer, we'll automatically sign you up for higher speed data, HBO/Showtime/Cinemax/STARZ/5000 channel lineup on DirecTV, and not bill you for it until you forget we signed you up.  Please understand this is a contracted term, so you're stuck with it for the next 8 years after the 43 day free period ends.  Press 0 to get out of this offer, or 1 to talk to technical support, where they will ask you if you want even more services before actually helping you with your issue."

    1

    "Please wait for the next technical support person to answer the call.  You are number 43 in line.  If you'd like us to keep your place in line and call you back, press 8675308, and then your phone number, in reverse order, for security purposes."

    8675309  *crap*

    "Thank you for holding.  Because it's going to be a long wait, let us tell you about how great this new offer we have is, and we'll direct you to 'the website' for the details..."
    <14 minutes later>
    "You are #42 in line.  If you'd like us to keep your place in line and call you back, press 8675308, and then your phone number, prefix, area code, then number, for security purposes."
    867530....8  4 6 5 5 0 3 *number... the whole phone number?*

    That number is invalid.  "Thank you for holding.  Because it's going to be a long wait, let us tell you about how great this new offer we have is, and we'll direct you to 'the website' for the details..."

    <184 minutes later>

    "Thank you for calling technical support!  I noticed you don't have Wireless in your car, and you have 3 children living at home aged 14, 10, and 6 months, and they love watching movies on the way to their friend Ercilio's house.  I will send 3 units over, and there will be a small charge on your wireless bill for this stupendous service.  Please let me know at the end of the call if you don't want them."

    "I don't want them."

    "OK, I will take them off your plan.  Have a nice day!"

    <ugh... he did say, "at the end of the call...">

    Yeah, I'm on T-Mobile now.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    I've been a very happy T-Mobile customer for several years now. Great plans, especially their free international data and SMS roaming. Coverage and bandwidth in the US is fantastic. On the other hand, I had nothing but horrible experiences with Sprint. Abysmal customer support, lousy coverage, deceptive practices, the worst.
    One very telling thing is how each carrier handled their merger with a carrier using a different protocol (Nextel/IDEN for Sprint, MetroPCS/CDMA for T-Mobile). Sprint dragged on the Nextel brand, network, equipment and protocol for years and was incapable of developing an effective transitional strategy.
    T-Mobile, on the other hand, was able to execute a flawless transition to a unified network, progressively moving all its customers to compatible equipment and converting all the MetroPCS towers to GSM. If I remember correctly it was pretty much done in a year or two.
    So, if T-Mobile handles the merger, I suppose it could work, but if Sprint does it I fear the worst, because it's run by idiots. Unfortunately the fact that Legere left the company tells me a lot about the direction this turkey is going to fly, and instead of 3 major networks I think we're going to end up with AT&T and Verizon picking at the carcasses of the merged T-Mobile/Sprint after Sprint is done screwing everything up.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Considering the strides T-Mobile made to be competitive in the past decade(making me a switcher at half the price of our previous AT&T contract replaced with unlimited). Here’s to hoping they continue that given Sprints additional customer base and massive 5G ready spectrum.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    GG1GG1 Posts: 468member
    From T-Mobile's perspective, this merger gives them more frequency spectrum (600 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands) for building out 5G. There will be some coverage improvement, but it's really all about the spectrum. Seems like Sprint's financial health didn't allow them to use fully use these bands.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    The merger that seems to never be finished... and I wish it wouldn’t ever be.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    Fatman said:
    Usually less choice is bad, but in this case hopefully the new joint company will be a viable option to ATT and Verizon. I would not have considered T or Sprint on their own, but hopefully they will complement each other with expanded coverage.
    I agree.  I think in this case having a "Big 3" situation among the major telcos will actually be a good thing to provide maximum competition with each other, instead of what we have now which is primarily AT&T vs. Verizon with TMobile and Sprint almost in a class below them, fighting for a distant third place.  AT&T and Verizon will have to compete with a merged TMo/Sprint more directly, and that's good for everyone.
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