T-Mobile and Sprint's merger has some new opposition today.
A group of 10 state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the lawsuit today, which is filed in New York state and also includes attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The attorneys general argue that the T-Mobile-Sprint merger is anticompetitive and that it will "substantially" lessen competition in the U.S. wireless market. They also believe that prices for consumers will rise if the merger is approved and that innovation will likely be reduced. The merger could also have a negative effect on jobs, the AGs say, including a "substantial" loss of retail jobs and lower pay for workers who do keep their jobs.
“When it comes to corporate power, bigger isn’t always better,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “The T-Mobile and Sprint merger would not only cause irreparable harm to mobile subscribers nationwide by cutting access to affordable, reliable wireless service for millions of Americans, but would particularly affect lower-income and minority communities here in New York and in urban areas across the country. That’s why we are going to court to stop this merger and protect our consumers, because this is exactly the sort of consumer-harming, job-killing megamerger our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.”
T-Mobile and Sprint's merger has earned support from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, but it's still undergoing an antitrust review by the Department of Justice. It's not known whether DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim will approve or deny the merger, but antitrust staff at the DOJ have reportedly argued that the deal should be blocked.
T-Mo and Sprint previously made commitments tied to the approval of their merger. These include the sale of Boost Mobile, promises to meet 5G and in-home broadband rollout goals in the coming years, and a pledge to not raise prices for at least three years. Rumors have said that the DOJ want more from T-Mobile and Sprint before it'll approve the deal, though, including T-Mo and Sprint's help in creating a fourth competitive U.S. carrier.