WSJ: “T-Mobile-Sprint merger is a test of Trump’s antitrust mettle”

A recent Wall Street Journal article makes the case that the T-Mobile-Sprint horizontal merger -- combining two companies in the same market -- is more clearly anti-competitive than the AT&T-Time Warner vertical merger, which involved a combination of companies in different markets. Given the Trump DOJ’s aggressive action to block AT&T-Time Warner, what action will the agency take on the T-Mobile-Sprint transaction?

The WSJ notes that the T-Mobile-Sprint combination would boost market concentration and likely raise prices for consumers. A 2015 study that examined wireless mergers in developed countries found that “when four carriers become three, customer bills typically rise by 16%...”

Moreover, according to a CWA analysis, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger as currently structured will result in the loss of more than 28,000 jobs. For this and other reasons, CWA opposes the merger without enforceable conditions to protect jobs, workers’ rights, and consumers.

Given the anticompetitive harms detailed so far, DOJ inaction to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger would raise serious questions about favoritism and politics driving the DOJ agenda  -- particularly given Trump’s well-known antipathy to Time Warner-owned CNN. The WSJ article concludes that “without even trying [to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger], the Justice Department would rightly raise questions about why it is so much more determined to undo AT&T/Time Warner.”

Read the full article here.


 

Links:

T-Mobile Sprint Merger Is a Test of Trump’s Antitrust Mettle (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 5, 2018)

CWA to FCC: Proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger will cost 28,000 jobs, should be opposed as currently structured (CWA, Aug. 28, 2018)

Opposition to T-Mobile-Sprint merger builds (Speed Matters, Sept. 4, 2018)