Hundreds Of Complaints Against T-Mo/Sprint Merger Hit The FCC

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A week after the United States Federal Communications Commission started accepting public comments about the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint valued at $26.5 billion, hundreds of such filings hit the agency's public website, many of which are advocating for Washington to reject the idea of approving the consolidation. The argument against the tie-up most commonly cited by American citizens is its overall implication for the level of competition in the U.S. wireless industry. Dozens of responders opted to talk about their phone bills, stating that they're currently subscribed to either T-Mobile or Sprint's offerings because no other carrier in their area is offering a comparable value-to-money ratio, hence concluding that their wireless expenses are likely to rise should the merger be approved and wireless competition lowered.

One commenter referred to the current state of the mobile service market in the country as an "oligopoly," suggesting things are bound to get worse should the number of major competitors go down from four to three. Despite the influx of complaints, a recent study conducted by market insight company HarrisX found that only 20-percent of Americans outright oppose the idea of T-Mobile and Sprint merging. The survey that was based on a representative sample of U.S. adults concluded that every fifth consumer in the country supports the consolidation, while over half are still undecided and want more information on the matter before making up their minds.

Likewise, not all public comments the FCC received so far were negative, with some of them arguing for the merger to be approved so that the U.S. can beat China and other countries in the 5G race, though that isn't a given in any scenario, especially as the first stateside mmWave spectrum auction won't be held until November. T-Mobile and Sprint are arguing that their combined forces would create more competition in the 5G field than they would eliminate elsewhere, in addition to creating to jobs and driving economic growth. The two telecom giants are hoping the FCC and other competent regulators in the country will approve their merger proposal by mid-2019.

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