FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2020
ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN D. REYES APPLAUDS DECISION IN SPRINT/T-MOBILE CASE
Reyes took a leadership role in supporting wider consumer access to 5G Networks
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today applauded a Federal Judge’s decision to allow—not block—the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger. The ruling is in response to a lawsuit from a handful of states who claimed the merger violated antitrust laws. But this week’s ruling cites a Justice Department settlement that makes Dish “well poised to become a fourth Mobile Network Operator (MNO) in the market, and its extensive preparations and regulatory remedies indicate that it can sufficiently replace Sprint’s competitive impact.” In addition, the ruling points out that in the current marketplace, Sprint was unlikely to be a viable fourth competitor if the merger wasn’t allowed.
“While many other states looked to block this merger, Utah saw the benefits to consumers, businesses, the marketplace and US competitive advantage in 5G. Early on, I took the lead in this effort because I also recognized this merger was crucial for rural Utah,” Attorney General Reyes said. “There are many parts of our state which don’t have high-quality mobile and internet access, which 5G technology will provide. Judge Marrero’s ruling validates not only Utah’s position but also the arguments of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.”
Reyes continued: “This merger makes sense from all sides. Beyond critical rural development, this deal protects America by keeping certain foreign players from acquiring a weakened Sprint. In terms of market balance, the new, combined entity will still be third in market share behind the two most dominant players. But the merger gives the new entity a fighting chance to develop 5G and compete with AT&T and Verizon long-term and in a serious way. And with the addition of Dish, there is no net loss in the number of market players. Prices, products and services will be more competitive and states like Utah will be much better served as a result.”
This week, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused a request from a minority of state attorneys general to block T-Mobile’s proposed acquisition of Sprint. The ruling concludes the trial in New York v. Deutsche Telekom.
The department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on July 26, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia along with a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the department’s competitive concerns. The attorneys general for the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas have each joined in this proposed settlement. That proposed settlement, along with the United States’ motion to enter final judgment, is pending before Judge Kelly in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The FCC also approved the transaction after a thorough examination, with certain commitments as a condition of approval.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider. The proposed settlement also provides for a divestiture of substantial spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available for divestiture to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish transitions the business and builds out its 5G network.
T-Mobile US Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. In 2018, T-Mobile posted revenues of more than $43 billion. Deutsche Telekom AG, a German corporation headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is the controlling shareholder of T-Mobile US Inc.
Sprint Corporation is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2018, its posted revenue was over $32 billion. Sprint is controlled by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
*This release includes excerpts from the Department of Justice for background information.