Reps: Sprint/T-Mobile US merger will reduce jobs, hurt competition

In a Feb. 28 letter to U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Makan Delrahim, an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, 37 members of the U.S. House of Representatives express opposition to the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US.

The representatives see the merger as hurting consumers by driving up the price of mobile services, while also reducing jobs.

In seeking approval for the merger, execs from the carriers have said the merger will create jobs, serve as a boon to rural Americans, increase competition in the carrier space and help ensure U.S. leadership in 5G.

Specific to job loss, the representatives say the merger would kill 25,500 retail jobs and another 4,500 corporate-level jobs. “Reducing the number of national wireless retail employers from four to three means reduced competition for labor, which leads to lower wages…Collective bargaining can help counter this effect, but T-Mobile and Sprint have long histories of violating workers’ rights and sending jobs oversees. If this administration is committed to preserving well-paying American jobs and economic growth, this merger cannot proceed.”

On the 5G front, the lawmakers point out that both carriers, independent of the merger, have well-articulated plans to build out 5G networks.

“Both companies have the capacity and indeed intend to build 5G networks absent a merger,” they write. “The sole reason for this merger between T-Mobile and Sprint appears to be helping a handful of individuals get significantly wealthier. We urge you to reject the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint and put the American people ahead of corporate profits.”

To read the full letter, click here.

The House Judiciary Committee next Tuesday will hold a hearing to discuss the merger.

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