On Monday, the USA Democratic lawmakers criticized the process for allowing the merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, stating that the regulators downplayed the competition implications of the $26 billion deal.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone expressed their considerations in a letter to Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission.
The 2 lawmakers cited a “troubling lack of transparency and an obvious lack of acceptable process” by the regulatory body. They questioned whether or not a unique evaluation drafted by the FCC’s merger process force might have been supplanted later with one which downplayed the competitive risks of merging the third- and fourth-largest carriers.
Nadler and Pallone additionally expressed issues about private or “ex parte” conversations between representatives of T-Mobile and FCC commissioners, which may violate the company’s rules.
The Federal Communications Commission last month cleared the deal on a contested 3-2 vote following approval by antitrust officers on the U.S. Justice Department.
The agreement is conditioned on the divestment by Sprint of its prepaid division Boost Mobile to the satellite broadcast group Dish, which can start building a new national wi-fi network.
Backers of the deal say combining T-Mobile and Sprint will create a strong number three US wi-fi service behind Verizon and AT&T, with the resources to spend money on 5G, or fifth-generation, networks. Critics declare, however, it is going to cut back choices for American customers and finally lead to higher prices.
The companies have stated they’d not finalize the deal till an antitrust problem from more than a dozen US states is resolved. They anticipate a closing sometime next year.