On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it will charge ahead with a vote to formally approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger; But Democratic senators are asking the agency to reopen the case for public comment before taking that vote.
Senator and Presidential candidate 2020 Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) wrote a letter with others such as Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asking the FCC to receive feedback from residents and champions of the $ 26 billion telecom merger one last time before approving it, citing concerns that the deal will only bolster the telecom monopoly.
"We have major antitrust concerns regarding the impact of the proposed T-Mobile / Sprint merger on consumers, competition and the general public, "wrote the senators. "We are still concerned about the lack of transparency in the FCC merger review and the lack of certainty as to whether this merger will protect competition and consumers."
There have been a number of public comment bikes already considering the merger, but all of this happened before the Justice Department worked with T-Mobile-Sprint to hand out some of its assets, such as Boost Mobile, to Dish Network. With these handovers, Dish could probably build a fourth major wireless carrier to replace the loss of Sprint. Critics, like Klobuchar, are afraid this may not be the case, and when the deal was approved, both the DOJ and the FCC would stifle the competition instead.
"This transaction has been pending before the commission for more than a year, and there have been several public comment cycles," said a spokesman for FCC The Verge . "In addition, the commitments T-Mobile and Sprint have made to the commission have been public since May, and many parties have commented on them."
"It is time for commissioners to vote and for this process to be brought up close, the spokesman continued.
In May, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he would vote to approve the merger after the carriers gave pledges to agency that if approved would work to more quickly distribute 5G across the country and in rural areas.The other two Republican commissioners, Brendan Carr and Mike O'Rielly, also said they would vote to approve, and basically
On Thursday, the head of the House Judiciary Committee on Antitrust Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) wrote to Pai asking for the agency to take more time to review the agreement.
Alone from Congress, the T-Mobile-Sprint deal also faces a multi-state lawsuit led by New York AG Letitia James and California AG Xavier Becerra. When the Department of Justice said it would approve the agreement last month, a few states dropped the lawsuit, including Nebraska and Kansas. But in recent weeks, others have jumped on support such as Texas and Oregon. The trial will begin on December 9.