Today, Public Knowledge, joined by Common Cause, Consumers Union, Open Markets Institute, and Writers Guild of America West, filed reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to deny the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.
If approved, the deal would reduce the number of national wireless carriers from four to three. Just as the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission concluded when the government rejected AT&T’s 2011 attempt to acquire T-Mobile, such a drastic reduction in competition is likely to harm competition and increase costs for consumers.
The following can be attributed to Phillip Berenbroick, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“The record compiled by the Federal Communications Commission clearly demonstrates that the proposed transaction will substantially reduce competition in the wireless market and harm consumers. Post-merger, New T-Mobile, along with AT&T and Verizon, would dominate the wireless market. The transaction would leave customers facing the types of harms the FCC and Department of Justice identified in their review and ultimate rejection of the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction in 2011 – a market with higher prices, reduced variety in products and services, lower innovation, poorer quality of service, and reduced incentives to invest and compete.
“The proposed transaction will also raise the already high barriers to new market entry in the wireless market, and making it more difficult for MVNOs and rural providers to grow and serve their customers. The tools the FCC and DOJ use to analyze the likely effects of transactions all indicate that this merger is highly anti-competitive and will harm consumers. Further, the public interest benefits alleged by the merging firms are either speculative or not merger-specific and should not be given credence.
“As proposed, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger is illegal on its face under the antitrust laws, does not serve the public interest, and should be rejected.”
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