• DoJ Approves Merger of Sprint and T-Mobile



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, July 26, 2019

    Justice Department Settles with T-Mobile and Sprint in Their Proposed Merger by Requiring a Package of Divestitures to Dish

    Divestiture Will Enable DISH’s Entry as a Fourth Nationwide Facilities-Based Wireless Competitor and Expedite Deployment of High-Quality 5G for American Consumers

    The Department of Justice announced today that it and the Attorneys General for five states reached a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint regarding their proposed merger. The settlement requires a substantial divestiture package in order to enable a viable facilities-based competitor to enter the market. Further, the settlement will facilitate the expeditious deployment of multiple high-quality 5G networks for the benefit of American consumers and entrepreneurs.

    The Department’s Antitrust Division, along with the offices of five state Attorneys General (Plaintiff States), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the Department and the Plaintiff States filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the Department’s and the Plaintiff States’ competitive concerns. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

    Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider. The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

    “With this merger and accompanying divestiture, we are expanding output significantly by ensuring that large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high quality 5G networks,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s settlement will provide Dish with the assets and transitional services required to become a facilities-based mobile network operator that can provide a full range of mobile wireless services nationwide. I want to thank our state partners for joining us in this settlement.” Delrahim added, “In crafting this remedy, we are also mindful of the significant commitments T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish have made to the Federal Communications Commission.”

    The Department and the Plaintiff States said that, without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition would eliminate competition between two of only four facilities-based suppliers of nationwide mobile wireless services. According to the complaint, T-Mobile and Sprint both operate mobile networks and offer nationwide coverage to consumers, and they are particularly close competitors to each other for the roughly 30% of retail subscribers who purchase prepaid mobile wireless service. The combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would eliminate head-to-head competition between the companies and threaten the benefits that customers have realized from that competition in the form of lower prices and better service.

    T-Mobile US Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. In 2018, T-Mobile posted revenues of more than $43 billion. Deutsche Telekom AG, a German corporation headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is the controlling shareholder of T-Mobile US Inc.

    Sprint Corporation is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2018, its posted revenue was over $32 billion. Sprint is controlled by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese Corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

    As required by the Tunney Act, the proposed consent decree, along with the Department’s competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register. Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement within 60 days of its publication to Scott Scheele, Chief, Telecommunications and Broadband Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 7000, Washington, D.C. 20530. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the court may enter the final judgment upon a finding that it serves the public interest.

    Press Release Number 19-812
    Source: The United States Department of Justice
    Image source: Wikipedia

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Looks like it's finally a done deal! started by AUSTIN3:16 View original post
    Comments 353 Comments
    1. daleraver's Avatar
      daleraver -
      It looks like a win-win for T-Mobile. They get the spectrum they need from Sprint, the lawsuits have no basis with 4 carriers going forward, and Dish can pretend they are going to create a viable, functioning network. Yay!

      Edited to ask:

      Does anyone here who doesn't just make s*#t up know how soon we might expect to see some access to the Sprint towers currently operating? I already have TM & VZ on my phone, it will be amazing to be rockin' 3 out of 4 simultaneously.
    1. mogelijk's Avatar
      mogelijk -
      As if the scheduled announcement by the Justice Department isn't enough proof; T-Mobile postponed their quarterly earnings call yesterday and, this morning, have now rescheduled it for 1 pm ET today. It seemed clear yesterday that the earnings call was postponed until after the approval of the merger was announced.
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
      Does anyone here who doesn't just make s*#t up know how soon we might expect to see some access to the Sprint towers currently operating? I already have TM & VZ on my phone, it will be amazing to be rockin' 3 out of 4 simultaneously.
      This article refers to a filing last September and describes their plan to merge the networks:

      Migrating Sprint Customers

      In the same filing, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray also provided some details on how T-Mobile plans to migrate Sprint customers to its network once the merger is approved. Ray said that it will move existing T-Mobile and Sprint customers to a common core network. That will require T-Mobile’s engineering team to bridge the two standalone core networks together.

      To do that, they will use a bridge technology called multi-operator core network (MOCN), which basically uses a virtual single core network to route services to the T-Mobile core.


      At the same time, T-Mobile engineers will increase the scale of T-Mobile’s core network to handle increased traffic created by the new Sprint customers

      https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/...dband/2018/09/

      The article contains a link to "new FCC filings" which brings up a 341 page PDF so it could take awhile to go through to find the info straight from T-Mobile.

      But basically it makes it sound like they could put the MOCN on both networks and then the phones would work on the other network's tower.

      That would certainly be great.
    1. obeythelaw's Avatar
      obeythelaw -
      Yeah. Now I think Legere or Ray need to come out and say when T-Mobile customers will actually see coverage benefit as a result of the merger approval. Or, at a minimum, speed up some more 600 buildout.


      Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    1. ajholik's Avatar
      ajholik -
      The DOJ did approve the merger this morning:

      https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/26/6...26-billion-fcc

      Although there this, which we all know:

      "The merger has one more hurdle to cross before the companies get the all-clear to finalize. Last month, over a dozen state attorneys general filed a multistate lawsuit to block the deal, headed by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California AG Xavier Becerra."
    1. bakedapple's Avatar
      bakedapple -
      Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
      It looks like a win-win for T-Mobile. They get the spectrum they need from Sprint, the lawsuits have no basis with 4 carriers going forward, and Dish can pretend they are going to create a viable, functioning network. Yay!

      Edited to ask:

      Does anyone here who doesn't just make s*#t up know how soon we might expect to see some access to the Sprint towers currently operating? I already have TM & VZ on my phone, it will be amazing to be rockin' 3 out of 4 simultaneously.
      That eliminates 97% of the posters on HOFO...
    1. Qt0's Avatar
      Qt0 -
      Looks like sprint is divesting their entire prepaid brands and band 26 to Dish. One thing I noticed is the wording "until DISH’s 5G network is built out" (so if Dish never builds out 5g... what happens?). I think Charlie made out like a bandit. Now his deadline of next year will be certainly pushed back at least, I guess until he builds out 5g, which might be never

      New T-Mobile and DISH Agreements

      Agreement to Divest Sprint’s Prepaid Businesses
      Effective upon the successful completion of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, the New T-Mobile will be committed to divest Sprint’s entire prepaid businesses including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint-branded prepaid customers (excluding the Assurance brand Lifeline customers and the prepaid wireless customers of Shenandoah Telecommunications Company and Swiftel Communications, Inc.), to DISH for approximately $1.4 billion. These brands serve approximately 9.3 million customers in total.

      Agreements Upon Closing of Prepaid Divestiture

      Master Services Agreement for Network Access
      With this agreement, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid customers, as well as new DISH wireless customers, will have full access to the legacy Sprint network and the New T-Mobile network in a phased approach. Access to the New T-Mobile network will be through an MVNO arrangement, as well as through an Infrastructure MNO arrangement enabling roaming in certain areas until DISH’s 5G network is built out.

      Transition Services Agreement to Support Prepaid Customers
      The New T-Mobile will offer standard transition services arrangements to DISH for up to three years following the close of the divestiture transaction. The transition services provided by the New T-Mobile will result in the orderly transfer of prepaid customers to DISH and will also ensure the continued and seamless operation of Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint-branded prepaid businesses following transition to DISH’s ownership.

      Agreement to Divest Sprint’s 800 MHz Spectrum Licenses to DISH
      DISH has agreed to acquire Sprint’s portfolio of nationwide 800 MHz spectrum for a total value of approximately $3.6 billion in a transaction to be completed, subject to certain additional closing conditions, following an application for FCC approval to be filed three years following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. This will permit the New T-Mobile to continue to serve legacy Sprint customers during network integration, pending later FCC approval of the license transfer. The companies have also entered into an agreement providing the New T-Mobile the option to lease back a portion of the spectrum sold to DISH for an additional two years following closing of the spectrum sale.

      Option for DISH to Take Over Decommissioned Cell Sites and Retail Locations
      Following the closing of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint and subsequent integration into the New T-Mobile, DISH will have the option to take on leases for certain cell sites and retail locations that are decommissioned by the New T-Mobile for five years following the closing of the divestiture transaction, subject to any assignment restrictions.

      Agreement to Engage in Negotiations Regarding T-Mobile Leasing DISH’s 600 MHz Spectrum
      The companies have also committed to engage in good faith negotiations regarding the leasing of some or all of DISH’s 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile.
    1. techfranz's Avatar
      techfranz -
      Yay!Finally! Band 26 I believe you mean?
    1. Qt0's Avatar
      Qt0 -
      oops, yes. that was a typo hah
      okay I've read Dish “gets a seven-year wholesale agreement allowing it to sell T-Mobile wireless service under the Dish brands”
      still wonder if thats enough time for Dish to build anything, because it would also require billions.. and based on past history, Charlie doesn't do much with all his assets. whats it been, like a decade of spectrum squatting or thereabouts ?
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      Here's the official DOJ notice of approval which also got five states to agree as well:

      Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota

      https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justi...uiring-package

      So that's great too.

      That's awesome that the only spectrum Dish is getting is B26. Really, I doubt T-Mobile had much plans to use that anyway. Making a quick $3.6 billion by selling that is to their benefit. They'll keep it operating for now while the prepaid customers are on it.

      I mean they do lose 9.3 million customers which is probably the only bad news. However, those customers are likely not the highest revenue generators and could be poached from Dish with competitive measures by the Metro brand if need be.

      Now they have the remaining states to fight with. But those states aren't going to have much to contend. A new fourth carrier is forming so what are they going to say? I doubt the court is going to side with them against the DOJ and the FCC.

      This all looks very promising, but it's not done until it's done. Legere will keep the good fight going.
    1. SoxFan76's Avatar
      SoxFan76 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
      Now they have the remaining states to fight with. But those states aren't going to have much to contend. A new fourth carrier is forming so what are they going to say? I doubt the court is going to side with them against the DOJ and the FCC.

      This all looks very promising, but it's not done until it's done. Legere will keep the good fight going.
      The remaining states have a rock solid case, because DISH's wireless network is still a pipe dream from a known spectrum squatter. That being said, I doubt the state lawsuits will be successful.

      Unfortunately, this is a huge loss for consumers, and a failure of the DOJ and FCC to do their jobs.
    1. daleraver's Avatar
      daleraver -
      Once again, opinion stated as fact with no support or logic.

      But I will give you credit for consistency, so you got that going for you.

      didn't you used to be the major TM critic here under a different user name? I coulda sworn...
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      " Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider. The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network."

      Wow the New T-Mobile gave up a lot of Customers to DISH that includes Boost, Virgin, and Sprint Prepaid. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.

      Does anyone know what Spectrum bands T-Mobile/Sprint sold to DISH?
    1. Qt0's Avatar
      Qt0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
      Does anyone know what Spectrum bands T-Mobile/Sprint sold to DISH?
      actually I just found some updated info/details:



      Following completion of the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, DISH will:

      Acquire Sprint's prepaid businesses and customers, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and the Sprint-branded prepaid service.
      Acquire 14 MHz of Sprint's nationwide 800 MHz spectrum.
      Access the New T-Mobile network for seven years, including the ability to serve DISH customers seamlessly between T-Mobile's nationwide network and DISH's new independent 5G broadband network

      (I'm not sure if 14 MHz is all of Sprints 800MHz spectrum or not)
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      The NEW T-Mobile Website.


      The T-Mobile Q2 Earning call is still live now even though it started at 1PM.


      John Legere just said the 20,000 Cell Sites they are giving to DISH is mainly sites that the New T-Mobile was going to abandon with the merger. That makes me like that a 20K sound better to me. That is smart since DISH will have to take over the existing contracts and that saves T-Mobile more money by now having to pay for leases on towers they aren't using.
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post

      Unfortunately, this is a huge loss for consumers, and a failure of the DOJ and FCC to do their jobs.
      Millions of T-Mobile and Sprint users will have better service on a better network because of this. And yes, the DOJ and FCC did their jobs quite well. You're the one who said #4 is the magic number so you should be happy with the DOJ insisting that another #4 be created.

      Better service. And more spectrum will now be put into use including Dish's unused spectrum. It's a win-win for everybody.
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
      The remaining states have a rock solid case, because DISH's wireless network is still a pipe dream from a known spectrum squatter. That being said, I doubt the state lawsuits will be successful.

      Unfortunately, this is a huge loss for consumers, and a failure of the DOJ and FCC to do their jobs.
      Oh boo hoo... To the Sprint and T-Mobile customers it means much better service and speeds. The New T-Mobile will have the nation's first Nationwide 5G Network that will include rural areas. Also, it means the New T-Mobile will now have home wireless internet service in some areas. What it also means is that AT&T and Verizon will have to end their collusion to fix higher prices to their customers and get to work on their over priced and over rated networks if they still want to be #1 & #2 in the next 10 years.
    1. bakedapple's Avatar
      bakedapple -
      Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
      Once again, opinion stated as fact with no support or logic.

      But I will give you credit for consistency, so you got that going for you.

      didn't you used to be the major TM critic here under a different user name? I coulda sworn...
      The “gator”? There’s a few of us that have concluded that. It’s the same deluge of statist “I know what’s good for you!” posts.

      Sure fits the profile...
    1. bobdevnul's Avatar
      bobdevnul -
      Quote Originally Posted by Qt0 View Post
      Looks like sprint is divesting their entire prepaid brands and band 26 to Dish. One thing I noticed is the wording "until DISH’s 5G network is built out" (so if Dish never builds out 5g... what happens?). I think Charlie made out like a bandit. Now his deadline of next year will be certainly pushed back at least, I guess until he builds out 5g, which might be never

      New T-Mobile and DISH Agreements

      Agreement to Divest Sprint’s Prepaid Businesses
      ...

      Nice summary. I had not heard that Virgin and Sprint Prepaid would also be divested and sold to Dish. I had only seen Boost mentioned before.

      I doubt T-Mo will miss Sprint 800 MHz much.

      Probably not much will happen until the states are dealt with in December or beyond.
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      [Putting this thread on the front page, with a copy/paste of the DoJ press release...]



      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, July 26, 2019

      Justice Department Settles with T-Mobile and Sprint in Their Proposed Merger by Requiring a Package of Divestitures to Dish

      Divestiture Will Enable DISH’s Entry as a Fourth Nationwide Facilities-Based Wireless Competitor and Expedite Deployment of High-Quality 5G for American Consumers

      The Department of Justice announced today that it and the Attorneys General for five states reached a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint regarding their proposed merger. The settlement requires a substantial divestiture package in order to enable a viable facilities-based competitor to enter the market. Further, the settlement will facilitate the expeditious deployment of multiple high-quality 5G networks for the benefit of American consumers and entrepreneurs.

      The Department’s Antitrust Division, along with the offices of five state Attorneys General (Plaintiff States), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the Department and the Plaintiff States filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the Department’s and the Plaintiff States’ competitive concerns. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

      Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider. The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

      “With this merger and accompanying divestiture, we are expanding output significantly by ensuring that large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high quality 5G networks,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s settlement will provide Dish with the assets and transitional services required to become a facilities-based mobile network operator that can provide a full range of mobile wireless services nationwide. I want to thank our state partners for joining us in this settlement.” Delrahim added, “In crafting this remedy, we are also mindful of the significant commitments T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish have made to the Federal Communications Commission.”

      The Department and the Plaintiff States said that, without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition would eliminate competition between two of only four facilities-based suppliers of nationwide mobile wireless services. According to the complaint, T-Mobile and Sprint both operate mobile networks and offer nationwide coverage to consumers, and they are particularly close competitors to each other for the roughly 30% of retail subscribers who purchase prepaid mobile wireless service. The combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would eliminate head-to-head competition between the companies and threaten the benefits that customers have realized from that competition in the form of lower prices and better service.

      T-Mobile US Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. In 2018, T-Mobile posted revenues of more than $43 billion. Deutsche Telekom AG, a German corporation headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is the controlling shareholder of T-Mobile US Inc.

      Sprint Corporation is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2018, its posted revenue was over $32 billion. Sprint is controlled by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese Corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

      As required by the Tunney Act, the proposed consent decree, along with the Department’s competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register. Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement within 60 days of its publication to Scott Scheele, Chief, Telecommunications and Broadband Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 7000, Washington, D.C. 20530. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the court may enter the final judgment upon a finding that it serves the public interest.

      Press Release Number 19-812
      Source: The United States Department of Justice
      Image source: Wikipedia
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