Boost Mobile’s founder, Peter Adderton, met with the Department of Justice on Friday, about the potential merger and how Boost Mobile could become a fourth player in the industry. After Adderton met with the DOJ on Friday, he Tweeted out a photo of the building. Then someone asked when he thought the final decision on the merger would be made, Adderton replied: “Less than 10 days if I was placing a bet:)”.
This doesn’t tell us a lot, as Adderton did not say whether he thought that the T-Mobile and Sprint merger would be approved or not, but that the fate of the merger would be decided within 10 days, from last Friday. So we should expect to see something this week, on the merger, if Adderton was correct.
Adderton is interested in bidding for Boost Mobile, and stated in an interview, the steps that the DOJ’s antitrust division needs to take to ensure the prepaid carrier can be a successful competitor in the market.
He’s interested in buying Boost Mobile, since Sprint has already said that it would sell the prepaid carrier, to get the merger with T-Mobile approved. Where Boost is one of the larger prepaid carriers in the country right now, it could easily transition into being a big player, if this merger does get approved. Though, it doesn’t have it’s own network, so it would still need the New T-Mobile’s network or possibly AT&T and/or Verizon’s network to work. Unless Sprint were to sell some of its spectrum to the new Boost Mobile owner. Something that Sprint and T-Mobile have also mentioned, in its talks with the Justice Department recently.
This merger has already gotten the green light from the FCC, so the only hurdle left to cross is the Justice Department. Staffers at the DOJ do not believe that the merger should be approved, however its antitrust head is stuck in the middle. On the one hand, he believes it should be approved, but it’s hard to overlook a large group of employees that believe the opposite.
Adderton is mostly worried about Boost Mobile being dissolved and low-income Americans no longer being able to afford their cellphone bill every month. After all, that is the main reason that so many of these prepaid carriers exist. Everyone can’t afford $70 per month per line, for a smartphone these days. But with Boost, you can get a line for as little as $30, and some other carriers offer it for even less. Adderton wants the government to keep Boost Mobile separate, so once the merger is approved, it can be competitive in the market.
If Adderton is right, we should see some news on the merger this week. It’ll likely come out either Thursday or Friday. It’ll be interesting to see what the Justice Department decides, especially after the FCC chairman has been at the DOJ trying to persuade the department to approve of this merger. But if they do decide to block it, let’s hope the Justice Department is actually prepared for the fight – unlike when it sued to block the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner last year.