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Thread: Judge approves $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

  1. #1
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    Judge approves $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

    https://www.nbcnews.com/business/bus...print-n1134631

    Article excerpt:

    A U.S. District judge ruled Tuesday morning in favor of a $26 billion deal to merge Sprint with T-Mobile, clearing one of the final hurdles.

    While the deal still can’t close until the California Public Utilities Commission approves the transaction, Tuesday’s ruling culminates a yearslong courtship between Sprint and T-Mobile, which have made multiple attempts over the years to merge, only to abandon their plans fearing regulatory scrutiny.

    Attorneys general from New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., originally brought the lawsuit to block the deal following approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.

    The states had argued that combining the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. carriers would limit competition and result in higher prices for consumers. The companies had argued their merger would help them compete against top players AT&T and Verizon and advance efforts to build a nationwide 5G network.

    In his decision filed Tuesday, Judge Victor Marrero wrote, “The resulting stalemate leaves the Court lacking sufficiently impartial and objective ground on which to rely in basing a sound forecast of the likely competitive effects of a merger.”

    The judge laid out three points on which the court rejected the states’ objections to the merger. First, he said, they failed to convince the court that the merged party “would pursue anti-competitive behavior that, soon after the merger, directly or indirectly, will yield higher prices or lower quality for wireless telecommunications services.”

    Second, the court rejected that Sprint would be able to continue operating effectively as a wireless services competitor without the merger.

    “The Court is thus substantially persuaded that Sprint does not have a sustainable long-term competitive strategy and will in fact cease to be a truly national [mobile network operator],” the ruling said.

    And finally, the court rejected the states’ argument that Dish Network “would not enter the wireless services market as a viable competitor nor live up to its commitments to build a national wireless network.” The deal called for Dish to step in as a new wireless player based on agreements with the DOJ and FCC.

    In a statement following the ruling, New York Attorney General Letitia James, who helped lead the states’ push, said the states “disagree with this decision wholeheartedly, and will continue to fight the kind of consumer-harming megamergers our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.” She called the ruling a “loss” for Americans who rely on wireless networks and said the states will review their options, including a potential appeal.
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    I hope they don’t appeal


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    Judge approves $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

    Quote Originally Posted by smokieunc View Post
    I hope they don’t appeal


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    Almost surely they would lose but hopefully none of the red tape stuff slows tmoibile and delays things any further

    Whether it’s good or bad for consumers it’s not fair to any business to keep having delays. They need to know 100% before we all start wearing depends

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    Welcome to the countdown (as contracts with carriers expire) to the bloodbath of MVNO deaths.

    What were/are the supposed conditions to be imposed that approval was contingent?
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    Quote Originally Posted by trees12 View Post

    The judge laid out three points on which the court rejected the states’ objections to the merger. First, he said, they failed to convince the court that the merged party “would pursue anti-competitive behavior that, soon after the merger, directly or indirectly, will yield higher prices or lower quality for wireless telecommunications services.”

    Second, the court rejected that Sprint would be able to continue operating effectively as a wireless services competitor without the merger.

    “The Court is thus substantially persuaded that Sprint does not have a sustainable long-term competitive strategy and will in fact cease to be a truly national [mobile network operator],” the ruling said.

    And finally, the court rejected the states’ argument that Dish Network “would not enter the wireless services market as a viable competitor nor live up to its commitments to build a national wireless network.” The deal called for Dish to step in as a new wireless player based on agreements with the DOJ and FCC.
    Boom! The judge basically determined that the AG's lost every argument:

    No evidence that T-Mobile would pursue anti-competitive behavior.

    Sprint had no long term competitive plan on its own.

    And he didn't believe that Dish would not compete.

    This is just such a crushing blow to the NY AG Letitia James. She and others thought her case was so strong. Analysts predicted the merger wasn't going through. She thought she was lined up for victory and she gets the news that instead, she is now facing an embarrassing defeat. Wow, what a big mistake!

    She even sounds like a loser in her post decision statement:

    "New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of the state AGs that led the lawsuit against the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, said that the ruling “marks a loss for every American who relies on their cell phone for work, to care for a family member, and to communicate with friends,” adding that “the deal will endanger wireless subscribers where it hurts most: their wallets.”

    https://www.tmonews.com/2020/02/t-mo...pproved-judge/

    Oh wow, I'm going to have problems talking to my friends because the merger is going through?? What nonsense. LOL

    Anyway, now T-Mobile can finally put their plans into effect and get this thing merged up.

    AT&T and Verizon have been on easy street for too long. A genuine third competitor is coming after them for real. I can imagine that this is completely disastrous news for them. They wanted to keep T-Mobile small and let Sprint go bankrupt so they could main their duopoly. Too bad for them and their supporters. It's a big blow.

    Finally, I will say that the analysts were way off the mark. Some giving the merger a 60% chance of failure after the trial was held. The judge doesn't make it sound like it was even a close decision for him either. An supreme embarrassment for the analysts as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    What were/are the supposed conditions to be imposed that approval was contingent?
    It appears the judge made a decision based upon the arguments presented by the AG's. He didn't add conditions.

    T-Mobile already made numerous concessions.

    They announced these extensive concessions in May to the FCC:

    https://www.tmonews.com/2019/05/t-mo...-fcc-approval/

    Then in November they said they would give Free 5G access to first responders, give some children free Wi-fi and offer a $15 prepaid plan:

    https://www.t-mobile.com/news/superc...ncarrier-moves

    They've certainly made great and numerous concessions which allowed the DOJ and FCC to sign off on the deal. It was just some arrogant AG's that thought they could still block it until they were put in their place by the judge.

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    It'll still take a year probably 2 years to decide whose interests prevailed. Either TM, VZW, AT&T, Dish & those with vested interests in these. Or consumers & advocates concerned with pricing. I won't wait I declare consumers & advocates concerned with pricing lost.

    But congrats to those who have a dog in the fight & won. And I guess congrats to those of them who think they have a dog in the fight but don't. The former's enjoy your money & maybe gift some to charity. To the latter's enjoy your monopoly money & do whatever with it.

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    The telecommunications future in the US is now brighter than it would have been otherwise.

    The "delay for delay's sake" flimsy arguments of the AG's have been swept aside.

    Now, when will TMO customers be able to use Sprint towers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    It'll still take a year probably 2 years to decide whose interests prevailed. Either TM, VZW, AT&T, Dish & those with vested interests in these. Or consumers & advocates concerned with pricing. I won't wait I declare consumers & advocates concerned with pricing lost.

    But congrats to those who have a dog in the fight & won. And I guess congrats to those of them who think they have a dog in the fight but don't. The former's enjoy your money & maybe gift some to charity. To the latter's enjoy your monopoly money & do whatever with it.
    Customers of ATT and Verizon had a dog in this fight, as the merger will provide much stiffer competition to those networks and improve them as a result.

    T-Mobile and Sprint customers had a dog in the fight as both get much better networks due to this.

    Now, who is left over? US Cellular and Bug Tussel customers who won't have a dog in the fight ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    I won't wait I declare consumers & advocates concerned with pricing lost.
    I respect your view regarding consumers and pricing. I, however, stand by my belief that this will be an overall benefit to the consumer based upon the usage of the spectrum. I believe that the new T-Mobile will use the spectrum of the combined companies much more efficiently and effectively. First of all, it will make their network that much more efficient as new technology is rolled out. It also allows them to use Sprint's high band spectrum to compete for home broadband access.

    I do not believe that a struggling Sprint company was going to ever really continue to maintain a fourth nationwide network that would really give quality performance for its customers. It's often already ranked 4th in test after test. And with the 5G evolution its going to fall further behind. Is it really fair to customers of that company to say, all you deserve is a subpar network because that's all you can afford? I don't believe so.

    And keep in mind that Dish's spectrum has been completely unused. So that will be placed in the marketplace as well with their build out to support Boost.

    If spectrum has been sold but hasn't been deployed, I don't see that as a net positive for the consumer.

    As for the pricing, I think there will always be plans for those who are on the low-end of the pricing spectrum. Because this industry is regulated by the FCC, if the carriers decided to jack those prices of the plans for low-income users (who the AG's were supposedly concerned with) the government could always intervene and force those plan prices back down.

    I don't really see it as the issue that some do on price. Furthermore, I think that all three large companies will know that they need to keep regulators happy by keeping low priced options available.

    That's my take on that.

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    Here are the benefits of the merger as announced today by T-Mobile on their website:

    Benefits of the New T-Mobile include:

    America’s first transformational nationwide 5G network and services that that will supercharge innovation throughout the U.S. economy, connect people throughout the country and help bridge the Digital Divide. With speeds up to 5x faster than current LTE in just a few years and reaching as much as 15x faster by 2024, New T-Mobile’s 5G network will change the way consumers think about and use the Internet.

    Expanding access and bridging the Digital Divide with #5GForAll. The New T-Mobile will challenge a system that is not working for America’s consumers, driving competition and innovation that benefits everyone, everywhere. New T-Mobile’s plans to deploy a higher quality and more robust network for rural America and to prioritize more vulnerable urban populations will ensure that all Americans have a meaningful chance to thrive in the 5G economy.

    Better service and lower prices for ALL Americans. New T-Mobile is committed to delivering the same or better rate plans at the same or better prices for three years - and that includes 5G. With 14X more total capacity in 2024 than standalone T-Mobile has today, the New T-Mobile’s 5G network will bring down the cost of delivering a gigabyte of data, providing enormous economic incentives for the New T-Mobile to lower prices. New T-Mobile will vigorously compete for consumers at all price points and all customers, including prepaid and Lifeline, will have access to the same amazing 5G network and services.

    Alternative to in-home broadband. The New T-Mobile Home Internet will bring the Un-carrier beyond wireless to provide much needed competition to Big Cable. New T-Mobile’s wireless in-home broadband service will overcome the obstacles to extending traditional wireline access by blanketing high-capacity coverage over previously difficult to serve areas. It will deliver 100+ Mbps speeds for wireless broadband to 90% of the population and in-home service to over half the country’s households by 2024.

    Job creation nationwide. New T-Mobile will be a job creator from Day One. In year one, New T-Mobile will have more than 3,500 additional full-time U.S. employees than the standalone companies would have had, and 11,000 more people by 2024. Additionally, plans to build more than 600 new retail locations and five new customer experience centers will create approximately 12,000 more jobs - many in small towns.

    https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobi...rger-court-win


    It's a great day for current and future customers of T-Mobile. The future looks bright indeed!

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    For me I find the value (the cheap to super cheap plans) in the fringe MVNOs. MVNOs that 99/100 outside of Hofo have never heard of. I expect those plans to significantly jump in price 35%+ once their current carrier contracts expire if they survive at all. I expect Tello, Good2Go, Pix, Expo, SpeedTalk, Boom, Ting, Twigby, Hello, & others to be crushed. And the race to the bottom price wise which has been awesome the last 3 years to be over for a long, long time. Mind blowing not even thought of today tech disrupter innovation excepted.

    Maybe as promised the FCC will protect some low cost plans. I won't hold my breath. Certainly not the fringe MVNOs where the value is for me & may I humbly say my fellow thrifty Hofo'ers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    Here are the benefits of the merger as announced today by T-Mobile on their website:

    Benefits of the New T-Mobile include:

    America’s first transformational nationwide 5G network and services that that will supercharge innovation throughout the U.S. economy, connect people throughout the country and help bridge the Digital Divide. With speeds up to 5x faster than current LTE in just a few years and reaching as much as 15x faster by 2024, New T-Mobile’s 5G network will change the way consumers think about and use the Internet.

    Expanding access and bridging the Digital Divide with #5GForAll. The New T-Mobile will challenge a system that is not working for America’s consumers, driving competition and innovation that benefits everyone, everywhere. New T-Mobile’s plans to deploy a higher quality and more robust network for rural America and to prioritize more vulnerable urban populations will ensure that all Americans have a meaningful chance to thrive in the 5G economy.

    Better service and lower prices for ALL Americans. New T-Mobile is committed to delivering the same or better rate plans at the same or better prices for three years - and that includes 5G. With 14X more total capacity in 2024 than standalone T-Mobile has today, the New T-Mobile’s 5G network will bring down the cost of delivering a gigabyte of data, providing enormous economic incentives for the New T-Mobile to lower prices. New T-Mobile will vigorously compete for consumers at all price points and all customers, including prepaid and Lifeline, will have access to the same amazing 5G network and services.

    Alternative to in-home broadband. The New T-Mobile Home Internet will bring the Un-carrier beyond wireless to provide much needed competition to Big Cable. New T-Mobile’s wireless in-home broadband service will overcome the obstacles to extending traditional wireline access by blanketing high-capacity coverage over previously difficult to serve areas. It will deliver 100+ Mbps speeds for wireless broadband to 90% of the population and in-home service to over half the country’s households by 2024.

    Job creation nationwide. New T-Mobile will be a job creator from Day One. In year one, New T-Mobile will have more than 3,500 additional full-time U.S. employees than the standalone companies would have had, and 11,000 more people by 2024. Additionally, plans to build more than 600 new retail locations and five new customer experience centers will create approximately 12,000 more jobs - many in small towns.

    https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobi...rger-court-win


    It's a great day for current and future customers of T-Mobile. The future looks bright indeed!
    Excellent news indeed!

    T-Mobile is going to build a super charged network that will definitely keep the Big Two on their feet.

    Huge win. Congrats team Magenta
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    Excellent news indeed!

    T-Mobile is going to build a super charged network that will definitely keep the Big Two on their feet.

    Huge win. Congrats team Magenta
    And I look forward to the ever-increasing coverage

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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    For me I find the value (the cheap to super cheap plans) in the fringe MVNOs. MVNOs that 99/100 outside of Hofo have never heard of. I expect those plans to significantly jump in price 35%+ once their current carrier contracts expire if they survive at all. I expect Tello, Good2Go, Pix, Expo, SpeedTalk, Boom, Ting, Twigby, Hello, & others to be crushed. And the race to the bottom price wise which has been awesome the last 3 years to be over for a long, long time. Mind blowing not even thought of today tech disrupter innovation excepted.

    Maybe as promised the FCC will protect some low cost plans. I won't hold my breath. Certainly not the fringe MVNOs where the value is for me & may I humbly say my fellow thrifty Hofo'ers.
    One thing is certain, the players are all known, their pricing schemes are known so there's three directions this can move in 1 - wholesale rates end up dropping 2 - wholesale rates remain close to the same 3 - wholesale rates rise noticeably

    Hello, notably of that group you mentioned is large enough (I forgot what their other names are but there are a few) that they'll survive and get a good wholesale contract from Tmobile or maybe AT&T if that is the case.

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