Common Cause Applauds State Attorneys General For Moving to Block Anticompetitive T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

Today, ten states attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit to block the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The lawsuit argues that if approved, the merger would lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and less innovation for consumers. New York and California were joined in the lawsuit by Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Last year, Common Cause filed a petition to deny with the Federal Communications Commission formally opposing the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. California Common Cause also testified against the merger at a public hearing held by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser

“We commend New York Attorney Letitia James, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the other State Attorneys General for filing a lawsuit to block the anticompetitive T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The evidence is abundantly clear – this merger is illegal under antitrust law. Reducing the number of national wireless carriers from four to three would raise prices and decrease choices for wireless service. The innovative and consumer-friendly offerings such as contract free plans and early upgrade options T-Mobile has popularized would likely disappear, resulting in less innovation in a three-firm marketplace.

“As the lawsuit demonstrates, low-income and marginalized communities would bear the brunt of this merger. A post-transaction T-Mobile would dominate the pre-paid market and have all the power and incentive to raise prices potentially displacing millions of low-income customers who have no alternative options for wireless service.

“This lawsuit is an important measure to block this anticompetitive and illegal merger, and we applaud the States Attorneys General for taking action. The Department of Justice should follow their lead and join the states in this lawsuit to block this merger.  There are no benefits to competition or our democracy in a marketplace where Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are allowed to call of the shots.”