Today, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York issued its opinion allowing the proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile to proceed, rejecting a suit brought by a coalition of state Attorneys General. In another proceeding, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has yet to issue its decision on whether to approve the proposed settlement between the parties and the Department of Justice.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge.
“This outcome puts consumers at risk. The states put on a strong case, and the DOJ’s proposed remedy is still very risky–at best we are losing a competitor today, in the hope of getting one back later. Certainly, if this merger proceeds, we hope the plan for DISH Network to enter the wireless marketplace as a new competitor works, and that wireless users will eventually benefit again from a market with four strong competitors. There will be a great deal of uncertainty for consumers in the meantime, as a result of this decision. New entry into the wireless market is not easy, especially when it requires the cooperation of your competitors, as under the DOJ’s proposal.
“It is more clear than ever that we need strengthened regulatory oversight of the communications industry to protect competition and consumer rights, as well as improvements to our antitrust laws.”