Judge Victor Marrero of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has rejected a lawsuit to block the merger of telcos T-Mobile and Sprint.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he was pleased with the district court’s decision. “The T-Mobile-Sprint merger will help close the digital divide and secure United States leadership in 5G. After the merger, T-Mobile has committed to bringing 5G to 97 per cent of our nation’s population within three years and 99 per cent of Americans within six years. Its 5G network will also reach deep into rural areas, with 85 per cent of rural Americans covered within three years and 90 per cent covered within six years. This transaction represents a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States, put critical mid-band spectrum to more productive use, and bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans. I’m gratified that the federal district court agreed with the FCC and US Department of Justice that this merger is lawful and should be allowed to proceed. This is a big win for American consumers.”
Pai’s fellow Commissioner, Geoffrey Sparks, disagreed with his Chairman, suggesting the merger would dramatically alter America’s wireless landscape. “The state Attorneys General presented a strong case. The court saw it differently. In particular, given how central DISH’s future role as a wireless competitor was to the court’s decision, I remain disappointed that those facts were not fully vetted in the merger that I voted on. Nevertheless, the merging parties have made significant promises – to lower prices, to deploy 5G throughout the country, and to increase the diversity of their suppliers, employees and executives. Moreover, DISH has promised to build a 5G network from scratch in a few short years. I look forward to seeing how these companies will fulfill their promises to the American people.”