Coalition Support for T-Mobile and Sprint Merger

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018, 9:08 AM PERMALINK

Today, a group of center-right organizations sent a letter to the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary supporting the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.  

As the coalition notes, the proposed transaction is consistent with existing antitrust law and will be greatly beneficial to consumers. This merger will drive competition and result in higher speeds and lowered prices for the consumer. With 5G technology actively being developed around the world, this merger will bolster America's standing in the global market.  

The following statement can be attributed to Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director of Digital Liberty: 

The combination of T-Mobile and Sprint does not reduce competition; it enhances competition by creating a stronger contender among the many companies offering broadband service. An internet connection is an internet connection, whether delivered over wires or airwaves. Together, T-Mobile and Sprint will be able to build a better broadband network using 5G technologies faster and that is good for Americans. 

You can find the full letter here and below 

June 26, 2018 

The Honorable Michael S. Lee  

United States Senate  

361A Russell Senate Office Building  

Washington, DC 20510  

 

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley  

United States Senate  

135 Hart Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510 

 

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar  

United States Senate  

302 Hart Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510 

 

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein  

United States Senate  

331 Hart Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510 

 

Dear Senators Lee, Klobuchar, Grassley & Feinstein:  

We understand that the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on June 27 to examine whether “the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint benefits consumers in a manner consistent with existing antitrust law.” We believe that the proposed transaction between T-Mobile US, Inc. and Sprint Corporation is consistent with existing antitrust law because it will be greatly beneficial to consumers and favor the transaction’s completion. 

This merger will promote healthy competition for broadband across the board, both wireless and wireline, in terms of prices, customer service, and deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) wireless network. This administration has its eye on a nationwide 5G network, and the best way for America to regain its lead is through competition.  

Their combination bolsters competitiveness in the wireless industry. While both T-Mobile and Sprint would, without the merger, continue to serve their customers; upgrade their networks; and, push towards 5G service, they will be nowhere near as effective without combining their assets. The combined company plans to invest almost $40 billion between 2019 and 2021 to construct its post-merger 5G — three times as much as T-Mobile could have invested alone. According to the companies: “By 2024, the New T-Mobile network will have approximately double the total capacity and triple the total 5G capacity of T-Mobile and Sprint combined, with 5G speeds four to six times what they could achieve on their own.”  

We encourage you to assess the broadband market holistically. Wireless 5G and even the current 4G LTE services, are competitive with wireline broadband services. We can expect the speed, capacity, and low consumer cost for 5G service to accelerate “cord-cutting,” as Americans increasingly opt for mobile broadband. 5G wireless services promise speeds over 100 Mbps. The combined company plans to provide this kind of service to 90 percent of the country by 2024, but with the two companies trying to deploy two separate networks, reaching that goal would cost an additional $43.6 billion3 — making this timeline impossible. Combining the two companies’ spectrum assets, tower locations and investment in network upgrades will allow the network to have the breadth and depth necessary to deploy 5G throughout the country – in rural and urban areas.  

Americans can look forward to more competitive pricing for mobile broadband. T-Mobile has a history creating pressure in the wireless market to lower prices and improve service offerings. The new T-Mobile can continue that trend as it competes for subscribers. Currently, T-Mobile and Sprint rank 3rd and 4th respectively for wireless subscribers. A post-merger T-Mobile will have 126 million subscribers, making it a closer competitor to Verizon’s 150 million subscribers and AT&T’s subscribership of 142 million. Furthermore, there are nearly 100 wireless providers nationwide, giving most Americans the choice between at least three or more service providers.  

Having more robust, cheaper and widely available 5G offerings will also pressure today’s wireline providers to improve service, and to invest more heavily in building their own wireless networks to offer customers the mobility they increasingly demand. This will make the wireless market even more dynamic than it would have been without the merger.  

Increased competition among wireless and wireline broadband providers will produce enormous consumer benefits. The industry competitive response is expected to result in as much as a 55 percent decrease in price per GB and a 120 percent increase in cellular data supply for all wireless customers. As a result, Americans will not only benefit from better service, but also by paying lower prices for that improved service. In addition, T-Mobile will launch innovative services to serve business, home, and the IoT markets.  

In general, when private businesses decide to join forces, government should not stand in the way — absent compelling evidence of actual demonstrable harms to consumers. The proposed combination will bring undeniable benefits to consumers, increase competition for broadband of all kinds, and help maintain America’s global leadership in mobile broadband. Thus, the merger should be approved without conditions and without delay.  

Regards,  

Americans for Tax Reform  

President  

Grover G. Norquist  

 

James L. Martin  

Founder  

60 Plus Association  

  

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis  

President  

60 Plus Association  

  

Steve Pociask  

President  

American Consumer Institute  

Center for Citizen Research  

  

Thomas Schatz  

President  

Citizens Against Government Waste  

  

Chuck Muth  

President  

Citizen Outreach  

  

Andrew F. Quinlan  

President  

Center for Freedom and Prosperity  

  

Jeffery Mazzella  

President  

Center for Individual Freedom  

  

Olivia Grady  

Senior Fellow  

Center for Worker Freedom  

  

Wayne Crews  

Vice President for Policy  

Competitive Enterprise Institute  

  

Katie McAuliffe  

Executive Director  

Digital Liberty  

  

Adam Brandon  

President  

FreedomWorks Foundation  

  

George Landrith  

President  

Frontiers of Freedom  

  

Pete Sepp  

President  

National Taxpayers Union  

  

Mary Adams  

Chair  

Maine Center Right Coalition  

  

William L. O'Brien  

Co-chair  

New Hampshire Center Right Coalition  

  

Jeff Kropf  

Executive Director  

Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation  

  

Mike Stenhouse  

Chief Executive Officer  

Rhode Island Center for  

Freedom & Prosperity  

  

Paul Gessing  

President  

Rio Grande Foundation  

  

David Williams  

President  

Taxpayer Protection Alliance  

  

Berin Szoka  

President  

TechFreedom  

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

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