On June 18, 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint filed initial papers with the FCC. The parties made a number of arguments on why their deal should pass regulatory muster.
First, T-Mobile and Sprint argue that they need the deal to compete with the Big Two (AT&T and Verizon) – the combined firm would be able to take advantage of efficiencies and economies of scale to bring technological innovations (5th generation (5G)) to the market faster to provide customers with better broadband services at a lower cost. Thus, customers would benefit from the merger through lower prices and investments to their network. The parties basically acknowledge that it is a four to three deal.
Second, the parties argue that the wireless market is no longer as concentrated because an abundance of competition exists or will exist in the near future as cable companies, Google, and others are increasingly entering this space. Even using current technologies, Comcast has rolled out low-cost wireless service to its cable customers that rides on Verizon’s network. So the argument goes that this isn’t a case of going from 4 to 3 wireless companies – there are now at least 7 or 8 big competitors in this converging market. There is a lot of reason why long time staffers at the FCC and DOJ might be skeptical of this claim.