FCC Halts Sprint/T-Mobile M&A Review

Dan Jones
9/11/2018
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The FCC said Tuesday that it needs more time to review the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger, and has halted the agency's "informal 180-day shot clock" in order to review the operators' combined networking plans.

The agency says that the pair significantly updated its networking plan on September 5. Furthermore, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) notes that T-Mobile US Inc. plans to submit "further economic modeling" to support the acquisition. (See T-Mobile Promises 'Nationwide' 5G in 2020 With New Spectrum.)

"The newly-provided network engineering model is significantly larger and more complex than the engineering submissions already in the record," the FCC said in a letter (PDF) on the networking changes. "It appears to incorporate new logic, methodologies, facts, and assumptions, on a subject central to the Applications -- the transaction's claimed network benefits."

The Commission said that further time will be needed to review the changes.

T-Mobile shares are flat in after-hours trading following the news. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) shares were down 0.49%, or 3 cents, after market close.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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Clifton K Morris
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Clifton K Morris,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/12/2018 | 9:36:18 PM
Interesting timing
Most likely, they realized that T-Mobile will sell subscription TV, internet, and home phone services over wireless. The business will even subsidize devices or TVs.

In effect, it will be a single company with nationwide reach, and majority foreign-owned, selling these communications and TV services. This is a business that regional wireline and regional cable are prevented by FCC rules.

Time for some of these competitors company counsel to sharpen their pencils and ask for divestitures to effectively compete; including when it comes to Sprint’s fiber business.