A U.S. Senate panel will hold a hearing on the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint in late June, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee announced. The event is meant to take place on June 27, with its main target being identifying whether the consolidation would truly benefit consumers like the two wireless carriers claim it will, in addition to probing any potential antitrust issues with the suggested tie-up. Previous reports indicated that both Sprint Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure and T-Mobile's head John Legere are likely to appear at the hearing. Mr. Legere would lead the combined company in case of a successful merger, whereas Mr. Claure would move to a supporting role, collect a golden parachute payment, and continue fulfilling his responsibilities at Sprint's parent SoftBank.
Sprint's CEO is already on his way out, having been elevated to the position of Executive Chairman in early May. He will formally leave his current role tomorrow, with the CEO position being set to be filled by Chief Financial Officer Michel Combes who joined the Overland Park, Kansas-based firm in January. The proposed merger of the third- and fourth-largest mobile service provider in the country is meant to be an all-stock deal valued at $26.5 billion which would leave T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom with a controlling stake of the combined entity. Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton who came out in vocal opposition of the deal earlier this month previously said he would appreciate a chance to speak with stateside regulators over the matter. Mr. Adderton argues the consolidation would hit America's poorest the harder as it would eliminate virtually all competition in the prepaid market that T-Mobile and Sprint dominate, whereas AT&T and Verizon already see it as an afterthought, largely due to its poor profit margins.
T-Mobile and Sprint's consolidation has been on-and-off for years, with their latest failed attempt to combine their operations being in the works in late 2017. At that time, SoftBank was reportedly unwilling to cede control of the combined entity to Deutsche Telekom but the Japanese tech giant had a change of heart this spring. The two are now arguing their combined financial prowess would significantly benefit the country's position in the global 5G race, allowing them to deploy the next generation of wireless infrastructure in a much timelier and cost-effective manner.