NEW YORK, USA –
A federal judge has opened an important path for the acquisition by T-Mobile of Sprint for $ 26.5 billion, rejecting allegations from more than a dozen states that the agreement would imply less competition and higher phone bills.
Although the agreement still needs some additional approvals, T-Mobile expects to close it on April 1.
Once that happens, the number of major US wireless companies. It would be reduced from four to three. T-Mobile says the deal would benefit consumers, as it would become a fiercer competitor for Verizon and AT&T. The agreement would also create a new, but smaller, competitor, as the satellite television company Dish would commit to building a next-generation 5G cellular network.
A group of state prosecutors tried to block the deal, arguing that having a less telephone company would cost Americans billions of dollars in higher bills. Consumer Reports said the remaining three companies would have less incentive to compete on prices and quality.
Judge Victor Marrero in New York said on Tuesday that the insistence of the companies that the agreement would reduce prices and that of the states that the agreement would raise prices “essentially cancel each other out.” Instead, he chose to trust what wireless executives have done in the past and what they commit to doing in the future in an industry that is changing rapidly.
T-Mobile has led in recent years such consumer-friendly changes as the restoration of unlimited data plans. Marrero said he discovered that T-Mobile executives were credible at the trial by promising to continue competing aggressively with AT&T and Verizon.
The judge also agreed with the companies that Sprint was “at best fighting to step on the water” and would not last as a national wireless competitor. He also said he is convinced that the US Department of Justice parallel agreement. with Dish, which establishes the satellite television provider as a new wireless company, would reduce the threat to competition.
Marrero’s decision comes after the Department of Justice has already approved the agreement. Another judge still needs to approve Dish’s agreement, a process that is generally simple, but that is taking longer than expected. A public services board in California also has to approve this agreement.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of the main attorneys general in the case, said her office was considering an appeal. She said Tuesday’s ruling “marks a loss for all Americans who depend on their cell phone for work, to care for a family member and to communicate with friends.”
Gigi Sohn, a member of the Law and Technology Law Institute at Georgetown University, said that while consumers are promised to benefit from mergers, “what they have left each time are corporate giants” that can increase prices and destroy the competition.
T-Mobile launched its offer for Sprint in 2018, after being rejected by regulators of the administration of President Barack Obama. T-Mobile CEO John Legere had seen the election of President Donald Trump and his designated regulators as a good opportunity to try to combine again, according to evidence during the trial.
NEW YORK, USA –