new York With a 3-to-2 vote, the US Telecoms regulator FCC has approved the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint on Wednesday. Thus, the US subsidiary of the German Telekom T-Mobile has taken an important hurdle.
As early as April 2018, Sprint and T-Mobile announced their $ 26 billion merger. But since then, the approval had dragged on again and again. After the Ministry of Justice in the summer but now has the powerful telecoms supervision FCC approved. Now the lawsuits of a number of states are still pending. They argue that the merger will reduce competition and raise prices.
T-Mobile and Sprint argue that they can join forces to build a better 5G network and promise not to raise their prices. For Deutsche Telekom, the US market is extremely important. There, the Germans made the majority of their profit.
The Ministry of Justice has given its approval to the condition that Sprint and T-Mobile in particular give their prepaid licenses to the satellite provider Dish. He should be able to create such a new, fourth provider, so that the Americans can continue to choose from four providers.
Not only in many states, but also in the unions, this plan meets with little approval. “Dish is not a solution, but a Potemkin village with no foundation,” says Debbie Goldman, director of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The company has no experience as a mobile operator.
Goldman also fears that the merger could cost 30,000 people the job, “especially for independent retailers who have been selling prepaid contracts to date.” “They have no job guarantees,” says Goldman. “The plan replaces the weak provider Sprint with an even weaker Dish supplier,” she complains.
The FCC's vote went along the party lines: the chairman and two Republican commissioners endorsed the proposed merger. The two Democratic FCC members voted against.
“We all saw what happens when markets become more focused after a merger like this one,” said Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel after the vote. The airlines now have to pay for their luggage, and the seats are narrower, and in the pharmaceutical industry, a few companies could now raise prices for life-saving medicines. “There is no reason to assume that it will be different this time,” warns Rosenworcel.
More: The employees of the Telekom subsidiary are worried about the merger plans between T-Mobile US and Sprint. They demand from Telecom CEO Höttges a job and salary guarantee.
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