After years of on-again, off-again discussions, T-Mobile and Sprint finally came to an agreement in April 2018 to merge into a single company. The ultimate product will be a much larger T-Mobile that rivals the size of its biggest two wireless competitors, Verizon and AT&T, and is led by existing T-Mobile CEO John Legere, while Sprint’s leadership takes seats on the board.
What will this mean for consumers and the wireless industry at large? Does the agreement stand a chance of clearing regulatory scrutiny? Follow along here for the latest news and analysis on the long-in-the-making merger.
T-Mobile is buying Mint Mobile, the budget-friendly mobile carrier that’s partially owned by Ryan Reynolds. In a post published on Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that the deal’s valued at up to $1.35 billion and comes as T-Mobile looks to build out its prepaid phone offering.Read Article >
The acquisition should close later this year and involves a 39 percent cash and 61 percent stock purchase of Mint’s parent company, Ka’ena Corporation. The price could change, however, as it depends on Mint’s performance.
Mar 11, 2020
The California attorney general’s office announced Wednesday that it would not appeal a federal court decision approving the $26 billion T-Mobile and Sprint merger. In a settlement with California, the companies made a handful of promises like creating new low-cost mobile plans and jobs in the state.Read Article >
According to the terms of the settlement, the New T-Mobile, as the combined company is called, is now required to make low-cost mobile plans available in California for the next five years, including a $15-per-month 2GB plan and a $25-per-month 5GB plan. It must offer 100GB of no-cost high-speed internet service and a free mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device to 10 million low-income households that are currently going without access for five years. The settlement also requires the New T-Mobile to create around 1,000 new jobs in the state and maintain the ones that already exist there.
Feb 11, 2020
Tomorrow is a day the wireless industry has long been waiting for, according to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal’s well-guarded sources — a judge is expected to rule in favor of T-Mobile and Sprint in the lawsuit that attempted to stop their industry-changing merger. That should finally allow T-Mobile and Sprint to combine to take on AT&T and Verizon, as the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice have already approved the $26.5 billion deal.Read Article >
That means we may finally see if the combined company will be as good as T-Mobile and Sprint have promised — or if there’ll be less competition than ever.
Nov 25, 2019
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office would drop its lawsuit opposing the multibillion-dollar merger between telecommunications giants T-Mobile and Sprint.Read Article >
Texas dropped its lawsuit as part of a settlement with the proposed New T-Mobile. In the settlement, New T-Mobile committed to providing “5G wireless broadband coverage to areas where most Texans live” and across most rural parts of the state over the next three years. Texans who work for Sprint and T-Mobile should expect “substantially similar employment” once the merger closes.
On Thursday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced that, if his company’s merger with Sprint closes, the New T-Mobile would roll out a program to help provide children across the country with greater access to the internet and close the “homework gap.”Read Article >
T-Mobile is calling it “Project 10 Million,” and it aims to provide 10 million households with free access to the internet. It’s a $10 billion commitment from the proposed New T-Mobile that will take place over the next five years. The company has also vowed to invest another $700 million to put hardware, hot spots, and reduced-cost devices in 10 million households to help deliver access.
On Thursday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced that if his company’s merger with Sprint closes, the new company would offer free 5G service to first responders across the United States for the next 10 years.Read Article >
The proposed New T-Mobile calls this program its “Connecting Heroes Initiative,” and it’s part of a broad “5G for Good” action plan that the company announced on Thursday. State and local public and nonprofit law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies can sign up for the program on T-Mobile’s website and receive coverage if the proposed merger with Sprint closes sometime next year.
Oct 16, 2019
On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission formally approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, an FCC official told The Verge. The vote comes months after the Justice Department greenlit the deal.Read Article >
In May, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai first signaled that he would vote to approve the merger after the commission and the companies struck a deal that Republicans believed would help foster a faster 5G rollout. The other Republican commissioners, Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly, also voiced support for the merger at the time. The merger was pushed through on a party-line vote with Democrats dissenting, an FCC official told The Verge.
Aug 16, 2019
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would be charging ahead with a vote to formally approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger; but Democratic senators are calling on the agency to reopen the issue for public comment before taking that vote.Read Article >
Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) penned a letter along with others like Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asking the FCC to receive feedback from citizens and advocates on the $26 billion telecom merger one last time before approving it, citing concerns that the deal will only entrench telecom monopolies.
T-Mobile and Sprint will wait to close their multibillion-dollar merger until a lawsuit from over a dozen state attorneys general is resolved, T-Mobile’s chief operating officer Mike Sievert said on the company’s earnings call today.Read Article >
Sievert’s admission came only a few short hours after the Justice Department announced its approval of the deal after months of negotiations to create a fourth viable wireless competitor through Dish Network. But the two carriers still face one last challenge in court before officially creating The New T-Mobile: more than a dozen state attorneys general are suing to block the deal.
Jul 26, 2019
T-Mobile CEO John Legere took something of a victory lap this afternoon, using a call with investors to trash talk his rivals’ 5G plans now that T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint has federal approval. Legere called Verizon “dead in the water without a strategy” and said AT&T has been “lying” and “confusing” customers about its deployment.Read Article >
Legere laid out a coherent and entertaining (and if you’re his competitors, insulting) vision of the current state of 5G strategies while on the call. Of course, it’s all premised on the idea that T-Mobile, once combined with Sprint, has the one true vision for 5G, which is more than debatable. But his explanation isn’t necessarily wrong, either.
The United States Justice Department has approved the $26 billion merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint. After over a year in regulatory limbo, the merger received the green light from the last federal agency to hold out, with the Federal Communications Commission already signaling that it will approve the deal.Read Article >
The Justice Department finally approved the deal after Dish reached an agreement with the carriers to acquire Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sprint’s prepaid business, and “certain” spectrum assets. This will position Dish as the replacement fourth major US carrier that will be lost once T-Mobile and Sprint merge. The two companies will be required to provide at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations to Dish, and the satellite TV provider will also get unfettered access to T-Mobile’s network for seven years as it works to build out a mobile network of its own using the newly acquired assets and spectrum that Dish has held on to for years. Dish has publicly remained silent on its plans throughout this entire process, but that is likely to change starting today.
Jul 11, 2019
The T-Mobile and Sprint merger was reportedly supposed to be a done deal weeks ago after much of their total spectrum assets were set to be allocated to Dish to spur the creation of another major carrier. But according to The Wall Street Journal, talks have slowed, and it’s unclear when the two parties will come to an agreement.Read Article >
T-Mobile and Sprint announced their $26 billion merger over a year ago, and the Journal reports that it will once again push past another deadline, July 29th, before closing the deal. This will be the second such extension since the initial announcement that has struggled to receive approval from the Justice Department.
Jun 18, 2019
Dish is negotiating a deal to buy wireless spectrum and Boost Mobile from T-Mobile and Sprint, as the latter two companies look to finally receive approval for their huge, industry-reshaping merger. According to Bloomberg, Dish has emerged as the company most likely to purchase the assets that T-Mobile and Sprint are currently trying to offload in a bid to assuage the Justice Department’s concerns with the merger. The satellite TV provider is reportedly willing to pay “at least” $6 billion for the spectrum and Boost Mobile, which is Sprint’s prepaid brand. An agreement could be announced as soon as this week.Read Article >
The Justice Department is coming very close to giving the T-Mobile / Sprint deal a thumbs-up, per Bloomberg. That might also happen sometime this week. The DoJ’s antitrust division has pressured both carriers to sell enough assets to allow for a new, nationwide carrier to take Sprint’s place as the fourth major US player. Dish already possesses a large heap of valuable spectrum that it has not (yet) put to use. But the satellite TV provider must start building out an actual network if it wants to hit a March 2020 federal deadline that’s in place for those spectrum licenses. Adding assets from T-Mobile and Sprint to that stockpile would put Dish in a strong position.
Jun 11, 2019
A group of 10 state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, is filing a multi-state lawsuit to block the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint while the US Justice Department’s decision looms.Read Article >
“When it comes to corporate power, bigger isn’t always better,” 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.”
May 22, 2019
On Wednesday, the Antitrust Division at the United States Justice Department recommended that the law enforcement agency block the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, according to Reuters.Read Article >
The $26 billion merger deal was greenlit by Republican commissioners for approval by the Federal Communications Commission earlier this week after T-Mobile agreed to new terms that would reportedly encourage a faster 5G rollout and provide greater in-home broadband access to rural America.
May 21, 2019
For the last year, T-Mobile and Sprint have been telling anyone who’ll listen that their planned $26 billion merger will bring some incredible benefits to American consumers. To hear the companies tell it, the industry’s latest super-union will result in faster speeds, broader broadband deployment, and a dramatic boost in well-paying American jobs.Read Article >
But if you’ve seen telecom mergers go through this process before, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical. Consolidation tends to make prices higher, connectivity worse, and customer service even more terrible. Pre-merger promises to do better are usually hollow, as consumer advocates, unions, and many antitrust experts all agree. For Sprint and T-Mobile, the biggest new wrinkle is the promised arrival of 5G, but that new tech is just cover for the same promises of better service and broader access — promises that are shaky at best.
May 20, 2019
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement today that he would vote to approve the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint after T-Mobile made new promises to quickly deploy 5G across the country.Read Article >
“In light of the significant commitments made by T-Mobile and Sprint as well as the facts in the record to date, I believe that this transaction is in the public interest and intend to recommend to my colleagues that the FCC approve it,” Pai said. “This is a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States and bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans. We should seize this opportunity.”
May 20, 2019
Sprint has promised to sell off Boost Mobile, one of its prepaid wireless brands, if its merger with T-Mobile is approved. Both Sprint and T-Mobile operate a number of prepaid subsidiaries, and the Federal Communications Commission was concerned that putting them all under one roof could stifle competition.Read Article >
The promise was announced this morning along with further commitments about 5G deployment meant to win merger approval. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he’d recommend approving the Sprint–T-Mobile merger on account of the new commitments.
Mar 7, 2019
T-Mobile says it’ll launch a 5G home internet service with fast speeds, easy installation, and low prices that will reach half of all US homes within five years and meaningfully shake up the woefully anti-competitive cable industry. There’s just one catch: T-Mobile says this only comes true if its Sprint merger is approved.Read Article >
In a blog post and Federal Communications Commission filing today, T-Mobile outlines in the most detail yet what its 5G home internet service will look like. The company started divulging some details around the offering last September, but with today’s CEO-written blog post, T-Mobile is starting to advertise its promises in a far more public fashion.
Mar 5, 2019
Progressive freshman Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is leading an effort in the House to block the proposed $26 billion merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint, according to The Hill.Read Article >
Tlaib is reportedly planning to send letters to Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai and the Justice Department’s antitrust head Makan Delrahim later today asking that the two refuse to approve the merger. Approval from the FCC and DOJ are necessary for the merger to go through. According to The Hill, 36 other progressive Democrats like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) are anticipated to sign onto the letters.
Feb 14, 2019
Executives from T-Mobile and Sprint sat before a House of Representatives panel for the first time yesterday hoping to convince the lawmakers that their proposed merger would be a net positive for the telecom industry, rural communities, and the economy.Read Article >
John Legere, T-Mobile’s CEO and the face of the entire company, has spent the last few weeks making a slew of different promises in order to schmooze regulators and lawmakers into approving the $26 billion proposal. Many of those same promises were repeated before the Energy and Commerce Committee panel that was called to probe the executives yesterday, despite the body not having any real power over whether the merger is eventually approved.
Feb 12, 2019
The CEO of T-Mobile and executive chairman of Sprint are set to be heard in front of House lawmakers tomorrow about their proposed merger, but newly released testimony is already giving a glimpse into how the companies will make their case. In one word: China.Read Article >
In prepared remarks, T-Mobile CEO John Legere ties the proposed merger to “American innovation and national security,” and specifically argues that the merger will be necessary to make the United States a leader on next-generation 5G network technology. “The stakes are high — nothing less than preserving our edge in innovation and maintaining our security,” he plans to say.
Yesterday, over 100 executives, including many from the US’s most influential tech companies, signed onto a letter urging congressional leaders to protect Dreamers. The coalition argued that losing Dreamer protections would cost the US economy $350 billion in GDP and $90 billion in tax revenue.Read Article >
“These are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers,” the letter reads, “and they should not have to wait for court cases to be decided to determine their fate when Congress can act now.”
Today, a group of Democratic senators wrote to officials at the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, asking that they strike down a proposed merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) led eight of his colleagues in the letters, which are addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim.Read Article >
“Our enforcement officials are the last line of defense preventing reconsolidation of our telecommunications markets at the expense of American consumers,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to act to prevent this dangerous merger from proceeding.”
Feb 5, 2019
T-Mobile CEO John Legere, in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai yesterday, promised not to increase consumer plan prices for three years if the company’s proposed merger with Sprint is approved. Legere said the combined company will offer “the same or better” rates as either wireless carrier currently does today. T-Mobile and Sprint have said it will take around three years to fully combine their networks.Read Article >
The merger is a $26 billion deal that would shrink the nation’s major wireless competition from four different providers to three, including AT&T and Verizon. The merger was proposed last April and is working its way through the government for review until regulatory authorities like the FCC and the Justice Department decide whether to approve it.