The $26-billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint will now reportedly be able to move forward following a new settlement reached with the California attorney general's office. The deal means that there are no further states contesting the merger. That follows a suit brought by attorney's general from several states. The appeal to the courts was ultimately shot down in February.
Other states such as New York had already conceded to the above-mentioned decision from Southern District of New York Judge Victor Marrero. But that wasn't the case for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Now, according to Mr. Becerra, concerns surrounding the merger have been alleviated. The settlement "locks in new jobs and protections" for "vulnerable consumers" but the deal goes quite a bit further than that. It also locks the New T-Mobile into terms regarding pricing and extends coverage to underserved Californians.
What are the terms of the T-Mobile Merger California settlement?
California's settlement with New T-Mobile brings an array of benefits for potential customers in the state. Specifically, it requires that the carrier remain competitive with rival carriers.
That's carried forward by the requirement that New T-Mobile makes two plans available for customers. The carrier will offer a 2GB plan that costs just $15 per month. For just $10 more per month, consumers will be able to bump that data limit up to 5GB. According to the agreement, those plans will have to remain in place for at least the next five years
Beyond the low-cost offerings New T-Mobile will need to put forward, the company will also need to offer coverage for free. More directly, it's going to have to offer 100GB of high-speed internet and a free mobile hotspot device to some Californians.
The settlement will require New T-Mobile to cover 10 million low-income households under that agreement. It will need to provide that service for a total of five years.
Finally, the deal means that New T-Mobile will have to maintain the jobs that it already offers in the state. But it will also be required to create around 1,000 new jobs for Californians.
Now, there's no guarantee that New T-Mobile will ultimately keep those jobs around after the settlement has been fulfilled.
The company most likely won't keep the low-cost plans available either. It's current plans deliver unlimited data but start out at $60 per month for a single line. The cost goes down with additional lines, landing at $25 per month per line with six lines. New T-Mobile will almost certainly not continue offering free service after the five-year term is up.
When will the merger be closed?
The finalization of the deal could happen fairly quickly. Based on the most recent reports and statements from the new T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert, this merger could be closed as early as April 1. That doesn't necessarily mean that end-users will see changes immediately.
T-Mobile and Sprint have made a number of promises associated with the merger. That includes promises about job creation, customer service changes, 5G, and more. So it will likely take years before the full impact of the $26-billion deal is apparent.