Justice Department Commends Federal Communications Commission on its Important Step Toward Approving the T-Mobile/Sprint Transaction and Divestiture to Dish

Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission announced today that his office has circulated a draft order approving the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint along with the divestiture of Sprint’s prepaid business to Dish Network Corp.  Just as the Department determined last month, the FCC’s draft order concludes that the merger and divestiture should move forward.  As the FCC explained, the circulation of the draft order means that the matter is now ready for consideration by the full Commission.

“I commend the FCC on passing this important milestone toward approval of the merger and divestiture, and congratulate them on completing their thorough review and analysis,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “We are now one step closer to strengthening competition for high-quality 5G networks that will benefit American consumers nationwide.” 

The Department’s Antitrust Division, along with the offices of five state Attorneys General (Plaintiff States), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on July 26 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction.  At the same time, the Department and the Plaintiff States filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the Department’s and the Plaintiff States’ competitive concerns. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider.  The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish.  Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.  T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

T-Mobile US Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.  In 2018, T-Mobile posted revenues of more than $43 billion.  Deutsche Telekom AG, a German corporation headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is the controlling shareholder of T-Mobile US Inc. 

Sprint Corporation is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.  In 2018, its posted revenue was over $32 billion.  Sprint is controlled by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese Corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

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Author: August 14, 2019

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