Rumored T-Mobile-DISH deal does not remedy anti-competitive harm from T-Mobile-Sprint merger

DISH Network, a foe of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger until weeks ago, appears to have switched sides. A divestiture deal designed to satisfy Makan Delrahim, the DOJ’s antitrust division chief, would allow DISH to buy spectrum, Sprint’s prepaid brands, and give DISH a multi-year wholesale agreement to resell T-Mobile’s wireless services. Replacing Sprint -- a facilities-based carrier with 52 million subscribers -- with a DISH prepaid MVNO dependent on T-Mobile’s network does not remedy the anti-competitive harm moving from 4 to 3 wireless network carriers. The DOJ staff recommended blocking the merger in May. However, the final decision remains in the hands of Delrahim. 

A DOJ and FCC approval is not enough to complete the merger as 13 states and the District of Columbia proceed with their lawsuit to block the merger, and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) continues to review the merger. CWA recently met with CPUC Commissioner to discuss the negative impact of the merger on California consumers and workers. 

Links:

T-Mobile on Cusp of Justice Department Approval for Sprint (Bloomberg, Jul. 3, 2019)

Sprint, T-Mobile Fall on Report That DOJ Staff Opposes Deal (Bloomberg, May. 22, 2019)

T-Mobile Deal Gets Opposition From More States; Sprint Drops (Bloomberg, Jun. 21, 2019)

T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Wins Approval of F.C.C. Chairman (New York Times, May. 20, 2019)

BREAKING: Two FCC commissioners voice support for Sprint/T-Mobile merger (Kansas City Business Journal, May. 20, 2019)

@MikeoFCC’s Twitter post (Twitter, May. 20, 2019)

NOTICE OF EX PARTE COMMUNICATION OF COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA DISTRICT 9 (CWA, Jul. 1, 2019)