State AGs look to head off T-Mobile-Sprint deal in court

ABC News | 12/8/2019 | Staff
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A high-drama telecom deal is heading to court.

T-Mobile, in its attempt to buy Sprint for $26.5 billion, has already notched approvals from key federal regulators. Now it must convince a federal judge that the 14 state attorneys general suing to stop the deal are wrong. A trial starts Monday in U.S. District Court in New York and is expected to last several weeks.

T-Mobile - Prevails - Number - US - Wireless

If T-Mobile prevails, the number of major U.S. wireless companies would shrink to three from four. A combined T-Mobile-Sprint would become a fiercer competitor to larger Verizon and AT&T . But the states argue that having one fewer mobile carrier would reduce competition and cost Americans billions of dollars in higher phone bills.

T-Mobile and Sprint provide cheaper alternatives to Verizon and AT&T, and T-Mobile has branded itself the “Un-carrier,” one that has made consumer-friendly changes such as bringing back unlimited-data plans and shattering two-year service contracts. There are concerns that less competition would put an end to these types of changes, although T-Mobile says that won't happen.

Deal - Nod - Justice - Department - Federal

The deal got the nod from both the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, thanks to T-Mobile's unusual commitment to create a brand-new mobile carrier in a deal with satellite-TV company Dish.

T-Mobile agreed to sell millions of customers to Dish and to rent its network to the fledgling rival while it built its own. Absent that arrangement, the Justice Department said, the deal would have been bad for consumers. Dish would start providing cellphone service after buying Sprint's current prepaid-service business. Dish is also required to build a faster, next-generation network, known as 5G, over the next several years.

States - Dish - Fix - Court - Filing

The states says the Dish fix isn't good enough. In a court filing, lawyers argued that T-Mobile and Sprint shouldn't be allowed to combine “based on the hope that Dish will one day...
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