On Monday, it was announced that the deadline for the T-Mobile and Sprint merger was extended until July 29. The $26.5 billion deal has yet to convince the Federal Communications Commission nor the Department of Justice that a combination of the two wireless carrier companies will benefit consumers. This announcement comes a full year later after the push for the merger began.
Markan Delrahim, the head of the antitrust department of the DOJ, claims that he is still indecisive about the merger. He and the department have "requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming." Delrahim reported that the investigation into the deal is still active and that there is no set number of meetings or a timeline.
The FCC and the DOJ are not the only groups behind the merger's slow journey. The 4Competiton Coalition is made up of around two dozen consumer advocacy groups including Fight for the Future, Open Markets Institute, and Communications Workers of America. The coalition voiced its own opinion against the T-Mobile and Sprint merging. "In the year since T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans to merge, they have failed to show that this deal is in the public interest and complies with antitrust law." The quote goes on saying, "The companies seems to believe PR and spin will carry the day, but we believe that, based on the facts and the law, this proposed merger should be blocked." Apparently, T-Mobile has yet to respond.
The 4Competition Coalition is openly and passionately voicing its opinion on this issue. Upon visiting the official website, one can see that the entire homepage is dedicated to fighting the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. This page consists of plenty more quotes and headlines against the deal.
It seems to be a bad publicity time for Sprint lately. Specifically, regarding the merger, things have not gone it's way. Recently the company announced that if the merger fails, it will likely fall suit. Many believed this to be a negotiation tactic in order to convince the FCC and DOJ to move forward with the deal. Regardless of the truth to it, it's no secret that Sprint lacks the low-band spectrum and the ability to meet customers demands.
For a while, Sprint has been looked upon poorly by customers. In the past, the company denied these claims and reported that it was improving. Only recently is the company admitting the issues it faces and now opens itself up to vulnerability. The news isn't great for Sprint; however, following recent suspicion that the merger was unlikely to happen. This news is backed up by the deadline being extended. While, it could be a good thing that the two companies get more time to convince the FCC and DOJ, an entire year of investigation without any real progress is not a positive thing.
Hopefully, by July 29, the world will know whether the T-Mobile and Sprint merger is successful or not. The situation indeed does not sound promising for the wireless carriers; however, only time will tell.