T-Mobile’s Sprint merger is opposed by 18 state attorneys general
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the latest state attorney general to oppose T-Mobile's Sprint merger. Today, Shapiro announced that he'll join a lawsuit to block the "megamerger" of the telecom giants, making him the 18th attorney general to challenge the deal. In July, the Department of Justice approved T-Mobile's $26.5 billion bid to merge with Sprint -- on the condition that it sell some of its business to Dish Network. And Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai endorsed the deal. But opposition from so many attorneys general could pose a legitimate threat.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The decision comes after a drawn-out, and at times contentious, review of to merge with Sprint.
The FCC believes the deal will close the digital divide and advance 5G in the US. T-Mobile and Sprint have committed to deploying 5G service to cover 97 percent of Americans within three years. They've also pledged to provide 90 percent of Americans with access to mobile service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps within six years. The FCC's approval is conditional on those promises, and the parties could be fined over $2 billion if they don't meet those goals.
Florida joins T-Mobile-Sprint merger settlement
Six other states have also settled claims related to the proposed merger."Florida has been one of the states leading this investigation since the beginning, and I am pleased that they have chosen to join our settlement after completing their thorough review," Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division said in the statement. "The merger, with the divestitures, will strengthen competition for high-quality 5G networks that will benefit Floridians and American consumers nationwide.
According to the Commission, the merger will not harm competition — thoughand a couple of FCC commissioners have . "While the parties promise their merger will accelerate the availability of some form of '5G' for some Americans, history teaches us that the most likely effect of this merger will be higher prices and fewer options for all Americans," said Commissioner Geoffrey Starks .
It's not surprising, though, that the FCC formally approved the merger today. The deal has already been. FCC it this summer, and last month, the Commission voted. Normally, in this case a deal would close. However, there is a chance the lawsuit filed by state attorneys general could still block or delay the merger.
T-Mobile's 5G network goes live ahead of schedule .
Last month, T-Mobile promised its 5G network would go live in 5,000 cities and towns on December 6th -- if its merger with Sprint went through. That deal is not yet final, but today, a few days ahead of schedule, T-Mobile says it's launching its nationwide 5G network. The catch is that, for now, T-Mobile is offering 600 MHz "low-band" 5G. The network covers more than one million square miles, including many rural areas, and 200 million people. The "low-band" 5G won't be as fast as the 5G we've seen from carriers like Sprint and Verizon (Engadget's parent company), but it will have better range, so it shouldn't run into problems like not being able to travel through walls