T-Mobile and Sprint are mounting a final lobbying push as part of what's turning into an increasingly desperate effort to win final regulatory approvals for their proposed merger valued at approximately $26.5 billion.
According to newly reviewed government filings, top officials from both wireless carriers lobbied United States lawmakers in Washington just last week, quadrupling down on their argument that a combined entity would benefit both consumers and the stateside economy as a whole. Capitol Hill officials are unsurprisingly unconvinced, as evidenced by the fact the two network operators are now partially moving their please to the public domain, likely gauging a potential reaction in hope of garnering enough support to place additional pressure on the Department of Justice investigators.
The duo's main argument is unchanged, with T-Mobile and Sprint still being hard at work reiterating claims that a reduction in the number of major rivals in the U.S. wireless industry will magically lead to lower prices, more jobs, pretty much a better future for everyone bar AT&T and Verizon. While some regulators previously gave surprising signals that they're willing to entertain the idea, common sense has prevailed, at least after the GOP lost the House following November mid-terms.
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel met with T-Mobile CEO John Legere, Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure, and a number of other high-ranking officials from both companies last Thursday, agreeing to listen to a wide variety of pitches from the big-business part of the equation.
Coupled with the endless string of scandals involving the Trump administration that are now largely revolving around the recently published Mueller report on Russian 2016 election interference, it appears the conservative DOJ has no intention of gambling with a potentially highly unpopular move at a time when the very legitimacy of the current government is being questioned by its political opponents who are accusing it of corruption and various anti-consumer behavior.
Numerous industry analysts are already turning up their skepticism surrounding the proposed merger and appear to believe the tie-up is becoming less likely to happen as days go by; T-Mobile and Sprint may be denying last week's claims about the DOJ dismissing their consolidation agreement behind closed doors but regardless of what they're saying, what they're doing seems to be in line with that theory. And what they're doing is throwing Hail Marys into the wind, prominent market watchers claimed in recent weeks.
Ultimately, if and when T-Mobile and Sprint's proposed merger collapses, that won't be the end for 5G competitiveness in the U.S. It will probably be the end of Sprint as we know it, with the Kansas-based telecom giant being a likely target of Dish and several other conglomerates seeking diversification if its original tie-up attempt doesn't come to fruition. T-Mobile itself should be more than fine; in fact, the minimal fluctuations of its stock throughout this turbulent times for the merger suggests the firm isn't even being traded with any kind of consolidation potential in mind, or that the impact of the Sprint deal would be minimal at best.