Ad Meter 2019: Check out T-Mobile's 2019 Super Bowl ad. T-Mobile CEO John Legere typically proposes deals to wireless consumers. Now he is offering one to the Federal Communications Commission. If the FCC approves the telecom company's $26 billion merger with competitor Sprint, T-Mobile will put price increases on hold for three years, Legere said in note sent this week to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Some critics have opposed the deal, announced in April, saying the elimination of one of the four largest wireless providers – Sprint is the No. 4, behind Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile – will lead to higher prices and harm consumers.
Sprint President Michel Combes, from left, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, and T-Mobile President and COO Mike Sievert enjoy a laugh as they announce the merger of the two companies on April 29, 2018 in New York. The potential shift from four wireless carriers to three could lead to big changes to your cell phone plans and service. On Sunday, T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans for a $26 billion merger, combining the two companies into the third-largest wireless network in the U.S. The deal still awaits regulatory approval, but the real questions focus on what this means if you own a smartphone from either Sprint or T-Mobile. This new company would represent more than 90 million retail wireless phone customers in the U.S., roughly one-third of the market, said research firm Recon Analytics. So does this mean you'll pay more?
Last week T-Mobile and Sprint, two of the four nationwide mobile wireless network operators, agreed to merge in a deal valued at $26.5 billion. Not surprisingly, the companies are making a lot of promises to gain the support of both the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, both of which must approve the merger. But consumers should not be fooled. The proposition here is simple: This deal will shrink the market for nationwide mobile wireless service from four players to three, giving consumers fewer choices and increasing the likelihood that prices will be higher and service offerings will be less consumer-friendly. Gigi Sohn(@gigibsohn) is a Mozilla fellow, a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology and Policy, and former counselor to FCC chair Tom Wheeler.
Sprint and T-Mobile are officially seeking to merge. If the deal is approved, the resulting company would be the nation's second-biggest wireless carrier after Verizon, controlling roughly 100 million customers. While the merger could put the companies in a stronger position to take on AT&T and Verizon, it would also eliminate a competitor from the wireless industry. That might not sit well with some policymakers, who say U.S. businesses have grown too concentrated in recent years. What could the merger mean for competition -- and your pocketbook?