Mobile promises the Sprint merger won't drive up prices… for now

Ruben Fields
February 7, 2019

Opponents of the deal allege that consumers would be worse off if it goes through.

Due to subcommittee scheduling issues, T-Mobile's John Legere and Sprint's Marcelo Claure will appear before the House Communications Subcommittee next Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m., and then appear the next day at the same time before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee. More specifically, prices will not be raised for three years following the merger and the legacy rate plans of both the carriers will continue until better plans that offer either more data or a lower price are introduced. He says that these critics erroneously cling to the assumption that the T-Mobile-Sprint merger will cause consumers to pay more for wireless service and/or get fewer features with their plans. "With its business-friendly environment, diverse workforce and strong sense of community, the Greater Rochester area is a ideal location to build another New T-Mobile Customer Experience Center".

Legere did tell the FCC that the combined company might have to raise the taxes, fees and surcharges on its wireless plans.

"The company's pledge is riddled with loopholes and ensures that any network improvements will allow them to justify higher monthly bills, effectively rendering the pledge meaningless", a group known as the 4Competition Coalition noted in a statement.

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The company said planned investment in the next-generation Juke and Qashqai, also announced in 2016, was unaffected. Unite Union representatives are due to meet with Nissan bosses on Monday to discuss the situation.

The FCC, Department of Justice, and other state utility regulators must approve the merger that would combine T-Mobile and Sprint.

For the past four years, T-Mobile and Sprint have been trying to merge together. On the other hand, AT&T and Verizon have 153 million and 118 million customers, respectively, and Sprint reported a figure of 54 million.

But from another perspective, Clyburn's involvement with T-Mobile serves to inoculate the company from critics who argue the deal will be largely bad for consumers because it will mean the elimination of a competitor from the USA wireless market.

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