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Technology T-Mobile has made big promises about its merger — but talk is cheap

16:35  13 november  2019
16:35  13 november  2019 Source:   theverge.com

T-Mobile’s Sprint merger is opposed by 18 state attorneys general

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.

T - Mobile has made big promises to the FCC to justify its pending merger with Sprint — but in the past, carriers have had trouble making good on those Sprint’s promises that it would implement a copycat version of Nextel’s popular push to talk technology on its 1xEV-DO Rev A platform also went

T - Mobile and Sprint are making some big promises to sell their proposed .5 billion merger . T - Mobile is promising that it will continue to operate as a scrappy upstart even after swallowing That means the Justice Department’s antitrust division and its chief, Makan Delrahim, could play a

To gain federal approval of their $26 billion merger, T-Mobile and Sprint have spent years promising a universe of incredible benefits, from lower prices to better rural wireless coverage. So far, agencies like the Federal Communications Commission have been more than happy to believe them.

  T-Mobile has made big promises about its merger — but talk is cheap © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

“The merger will promote robust competition in mobile broadband,” FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a recent statement. “Consumers will directly benefit from improvements in network quality and coverage, which in turn will foster innovation in a wide variety of sectors and services.”

The FCC voted to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

  The FCC voted to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger Today, the FCC formally approved the contested T-Mobile and Sprint merger, The Vergereports. But commissioners are still speaking out. Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks released statements explaining their decisions to vote against the transaction. In her statement, Rosenworcel said: "We've all seen what happens when markets become more concentrated after a merger like this one. In the airline industry, it brought us baggage fees and smaller seats. In the pharmaceutical industry, it led to a handful of drug companies raising the prices of lifesaving medications. There's no reason to think this time will be different.

Sprint, T - Mobile CEOs on merger approval odds. "The FCC majority effectively approved a pending deal before the DOJ had made its decision, before a staff document analyzing the T - Mobile has promised not to raise prices for at least three years after the close of the deal, but the states have

T - Mobile has passed pretty much every regulatory hurdle — two days ago the FCC repeated its blessing. There’s essentially only one thing standing in CEO T - Mobile is now engaged in a no-holds-barred campaign to win support for the merger from constituencies that might put pressure on those

But US telecom history suggests you shouldn’t believe a word coming out of their mouths. From AT&T’s 2006 merger with BellSouth to Comcast’s 2011 merger with NBC, telecom megadeals are routinely accompanied by any number of promises that are promptly ignored once the deal ink is dry. Instead, consolidation routinely delivers terrible customer service and ever-higher prices.

The Sprint-Nextel deal became a colossal disaster

Take Sprint’s 2005 $35 billion merger with Sprint Nextel, which combined the then-fifth and third largest wireless carriers, for example. Sprint’s government filings from the period promised that the integration of the Sprint Nextel networks would be largely seamless, popular features like Nextel’s “push to talk” iDen network would be painlessly duplicated, and the company would deliver nationwide service in the 2.5GHz band reaching even the most distant rural markets. A press release heralded the creation of a “premier communications company” that would revolutionize the telecom sector, thanks to “efficiencies” and “synergies” that would be hugely beneficial to American consumers.

FCC formally approves the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

  FCC formally approves the T-Mobile-Sprint merger Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formally approved the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The decision comes after a drawn-out, and at times contentious, review of T-Mobile's $26.5 billion bid 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 provideThe 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.

Both T - Mobile and Sprint have been feisty and effective competitors to AT&T and Verizon, the two T - Mobile owns Metro PCS, and Sprint owns Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, which are three of the While it’s true that Comcast is a big company, its mobile wireless footprint is tiny—it has a little more

While the T - Mobile -Sprint merger now has an important supporter, the combined company likely would usher in industrywide changes that would affect T - Mobile and Sprint were both in dire straits not too long ago, but have managed to make comebacks based on lower pricing and more attractive offers to

Then, like now, FCC leaders took the promises at face value.

“This action will ensure that consumers continue to receive the benefits of wireless competition, such as reduced prices and increased coverage,” former FCC boss Kevin Martin said in a statement approving the deal. “In addition, consumers can expect improved service quality and more advanced services.”

But the deal became a colossal disaster. Difficult integration of discordant technologies resulted in network and billing problems that drove millions of angry customers to the exits. Sprint’s promises of a nationwide 2.5GHz network would never even come close to materializing. By 2008, Sprint was using the spectrum to push another doomed joint venture with a company named Clearwire. By the time the Clearwire expansion ended in 2011, it had reached less than 44 percent of the public. By 2015, Clearwire would be shut down entirely.

T-Mobile's 5G network will go live on December 6th

  T-Mobile's 5G network will go live on December 6th T-Mobile will officially activate its 5G network on December 6th, the carrier announced today during a live stream dedicated to its upcoming merger with Sprint. According to CEO John Legere, 200 million customers will have access to the network on day one, with 5,000 cities and towns covered before the end of 2019. The company plans to market the initiative as "5G for Good," likely in an effort to drum up additional support for its merger with Sprint. That's because the launch is dependent on the merger going through since T-Mobile needs access to Sprint's spectrum to make such a wide initial rollout possible.

Opponents have said the merger would lead to a reduction in competition and higher prices in the long run. "The FCC majority effectively approved a pending deal before the DOJ had made its decision, before T - Mobile has promised not to raise prices for at least three years after the close of the deal

T - Mobile has set a three-year time frame for the network merger . With most US phone owners now Phones which have Sprint 2G and T - Mobile LTE coverage will still make calls on the Sprint 2G Sprint could push new software to allow those bands with its existing SIMs. Normalizing Rates.

By 2015, Clearwire would be shut down entirely

Sprint’s promises that it would implement a copycat version of Nextel’s popular push to talk technology on its 1xEV-DO Rev A platform also went nowhere. Trials for the company’s QChat service didn’t go well, and by 2008, the project was shuttered to the annoyance of users.

There were also familiar predictions that consolidation would help the market and Sprint itself. In filings, Sprint promised that the merged company would have the “highest average revenue per user (ARPU) in the wireless industry and be positioned to lead the industry in sustainable revenue growth.” With T-Mobile not yet a serious player, the Nextel deal left Cingular (fresh off its similarly hyped 2004 merger with AT&T Wireless), Verizon, and Sprint as the three dominant major carriers.

Many analysts lauded the reduction in overall competitors. “Three major carriers can help keep prices low for customers, expenses lower for the companies and innovation high,” telecom analyst Jeff Kagan proclaimed. “The wireless industry needed this wave of consolidation, and this merger will help the market.” At the time, the FCC agreed, insisting the deal would provide vast consumer benefits including lower prices.

T-Mobile teases $15 5G plan and other post-merger initiatives

  T-Mobile teases $15 5G plan and other post-merger initiatives When, and if, it launches its 5G network on December 6th, T-Mobile will offer a new $15 per month prepaid 5G plan to customers. The plan will include a 2GB per month data allowance, in addition to unlimited talk and text. At $15, the plan is half the price of T-Mobile's current cheapest plan. For $25 per month, customers can upgrade to a plan with 5GB of monthly data. Additionally, T-Mobile says it will add 500MB of data to both plans every year for up to five years.At first glance, the two rate plans seem like a great offer, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

T - Mobile and Sprint have had a seemingly endless dalliance over the years since Softbank took While T - Mobile CEO John Legere is expected to lead any combination that results from a merger Dutch telecom company Altice has been actively soliciting funds to mount its own bid for Charter

- T - Mobile has promised free 5G service to first responders for a decade, but only if its merger with Sprint and T - Mobile have argued for over a year that having one big company to challenge AT&T The state attorneys general said the promised benefits, such as better networks in rural areas and

In reality, the deal was a financial catastrophe, with Sprint’s revenues dropping every year from 2005 to 2008. In 2005, each company had a market cap of $33 billion; just three years later, the combined company’s entire value would be $25 billion. It wouldn’t be until 2013 when Sprint was able to reach the revenue levels it saw in 2005.

More than 8,000 employees would lose their jobs

Employment promises were just as hollow. Government filings had promised the FCC that the deal would “generate economic growth and jobs in the United States.” Then-Sprint CEO Gary Forsee told media outlets in 2005 that employees “shouldn’t expect to see a headline that there’s thousands of jobs that are going to be cut on the first of November or any time along the way.” By the end, more than 8,000 employees would lose their jobs.

It’s a troubling sign for the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, which is counting on the same magic of synergy and consolidation to make good on its promises. Hal Singer, an economist at Georgetown University, is one of seven antitrust experts that recently warned the government that the deal should be blocked. He told The Verge that when determining the harm of a potential merger, economists look to predictive metrics like upward pricing pressure and diversion ratios to simulate a merger’s impact. In the case of T-Mobile and Sprint, the data clearly suggests that the deal will raise prices.

John Legere will step down as T-Mobile CEO next year

  John Legere will step down as T-Mobile CEO next year He will be succeeded by current COO Mike SievertOn May 1st, 2020, Mike Sievert, T-Mobile’s current president and chief operating officer and Legere’s widely expected successor, will take over as CEO. It had previously been rumored that Sievert would take over the position after the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Spring, which has now been approved by federal regulators but is being held up by lawsuits from state attorneys general.

T - Mobile CEO John Legere said at the time that the cable market, with its high prices and poor customer service, “looks a lot wireless from a To be sure, companies have often made extravagant promises about enhancing competition to encourage merger regulators to approve their deals and

They began publicly talking about a merger again in 2017 only to announce that they had stopped talking California, New York, Wisconsin and a handful of other states have alleged that the merger is T - Mobile has promised not to raise prices for at least three years after the close of the deal, but

It doesn’t really matter that T-Mobile has cemented a reputation as a trash-talking consumer-friendly company (even if the latter reputation is often skin deep). If the opportunity to raise rates is there, companies are obligated to their shareholders to take full advantage.

“Given the 4-3 nature of the merger the diversion ratio is off the charts and so are the predicted price effects,” Singer said. Because T-Mobile and Sprint target a lot of the same customers (budget-conscious and prepaid users), the effects are even worse than usual, he added.

Singer pointed to a 2018 European study showing that 4-3 consolidation in Europe has repeatedly resulted in higher prices, something that has also plagued the Canadian market.

While the Department of Justice and FCC have approved the deal, T-Mobile still faces a multistate lawsuit aimed at derailing the merger. Singer said legal precedent means the courts won’t look kindly upon T-Mobile’s claims that expanded 5G coverage in rural America — assuming that even happens — is enough to offset broader harm to other areas of the country.

“This bogus offset argument worked at the FCC,” he said. “But it shouldn’t hold up in court.”

T-Mobile is apparently considering a merger with the cable giant of your nightmares .
Outgoing T-Mobile CEO John Legere has made a central focus of his time in the corner office at the so-called Un-carrier be all the things that people hate rival carriers for, and then making a big show of doing (or appearing to do) the opposite. Blasting its opponents for the hidden fees that lard up customer bills, stuffing tons of perks into monthly plans and packages for customers and taking as many swipes as possible at Big Telecom -- theseSo why in God’s name is T-Mobile reportedly considering a merger with Comcast, one of the most anti-consumer members of Corporate America today?

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