Sunday, 21 July 2019

T-Mobile US blasts lawsuit, says plaintiffs are 'dwelling in the past'

By Nick Wood, for Total Telecom
Thursday 11 July 19

Operator repeats argument that Sprint merger will create more competition, lead to better coverage and lower prices

T-Mobile US has launched a withering attack on the group of states that have sued to block its $26 billion merger with Sprint. Last month, nine states Attorneys General, plus the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, sued to block the Sprint/T…

T-Mobile US has launched a withering attack on the group of states that have sued to block its $26 billion merger with Sprint.

Last month, nine states Attorneys General, plus the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, sued to block the Sprint/T-Mobile deal, alleging it will cause "irreparable harm" to US mobile customers by reducing access to affordable service plans. Four more states subsequently joined the lawsuit.

In a court filing this week, T-Mobile argued that the plaintiffs have ignored the benefits of combining T-Mobile and Sprint's spectrum, which will allow them to roll out a better network at lower cost, and have ignored the various MVNOs that compete aggressively for customers against the big, nationwide carriers.

"They fail to understand market realities about the changing dynamics of the industry and the innovation that fuels its development, instead relying on a fantasy that competition between T-Mobile and Sprint alone is somehow critical in the 5G world," T-Mobile said. "Plaintiffs are dwelling in the past while the rest of the world is building super highways."

T-Mobile – which refers to the merged entity as New T-Mobile – insisted the combination with Sprint will improve competition, citing government merger guidelines that state: "merger-generated efficiencies may enhance competition by permitting two ineffective competitors to form a more effective competitor, e.g., by combining complementary assets."

The operator also referenced Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai, who endorsed the merger in May, saying the US should seize the opportunity offered by the merger.

"Rather than seize the opportunity, however, the Attorneys General of 13 states and the District of Columbia now ask the court to deprive consumers in their own states and in the 37 others that have not challenged the merger of the benefits of New T-Mobile's 5G network," T-Mobile said.

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