Public interest and labor organizations join call for FCC public comments after significant developments on T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

Common Cause, the Communications Workers of America, Free Press, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and the Rural Wireless Association called on the FCC to put the recent significant developments in the T-Mobile-Sprint merger out for public comments.

These developments include the series of agreements that T-Mobile and Sprint have entered with the US Department of Justice, including, among other things, the proposed divestiture of certain spectrum assets to DISH.  Separately, DISH filed applications for waiver and extension of time to complete construction of certain spectrum licenses, and agreed to certain commitments contingent upon Commission approval of the construction extension requests. 

The DOJ Consent Decree and the DISH waiver and extension requests represent significant changes to the original T-Mobile-Sprint transaction and raise new and important public interest and competition issues related to execution risk; operational, technical, managerial, and financial capability of the divested party; enforcement provisions; economic incentives; and jobs. The MVNO and related commercial agreements between DISH and T-Mobile are central to the analysis of the transaction, yet the MVNO Agreements have not been submitted into the record and have not been subject to public comment.  

Given the significance of this merger proceeding, which will fundamentally restructure the wireless market, the Commission must protect the integrity of the merger review process by putting the DISH waiver and extension request, deployment commitments, and the associated DOJ Consent Decree out for public comment.

The ex parte summary is available online here