T-Mobile, Sprint executives to defend $26.5 billion merger before House panels

Contents
  1. T-Mobile, Sprint execs defend .5 billion deal to lawmakers
  2. “Un-carrier” philosophy
  3. Pointed questions
  4. New jobs?
  5. Huawei concerns
  6. U.S.-China trade talks enter crucial phase before Trump's tariff call
  7. Commentary: Inadequate living conditions are a disservice to military families
  8. Mold, lead paint and rats: Military families complain of unsafe housing
  9. Ted Cruz wants “El Chapo” to fund Trump's border wall
  10. New Mexico House Speaker says he won't impeach governor for National Guard pullback
  11. Howard Dean to head new Dem voter data exchange
  12. Intelligence Matters: A CBS News original national security podcast
  13. Transcript: Michael Rogers on “Intelligence Matters”
  14. Kim Jong Un is upgrading North Korea's pop culture
  15. Philippines arrests prominent journalist who warned of threat to democracy
  16. Venezuelan opposition sets date for showdown with Maduro's forces
  17. Instagram kills account depicting abuse of gay Muslims in Indonesia
  18. Transcript: Vicki Huddleston on “Intelligence Matters”
  19. George Clooney defends Meghan Markle after treatment by press
  20. 21 Savage granted release on bond from ICE custody, lawyers say
  21. Police use pepper balls to disperse Travis Scott fans
  22. The 2019 Grammy Awards: Winners and highlights
  23. Alicia Keys shares story about John Mayer splitting his Grammy award with her 15 years ago
  24. Tesla self-driving car gets confused and crashes on highway
  25. Senator calls for Google, Apple to drop Saudi app that monitors women
  26. Russian region declares emergency over polar bear “invasion”
  27. Crew hunts for fabled U.S. carrier in a graveyard for WWII ships
  28. How to confront rising anxiety among young girls
  29. Teen defies mom, gets vaccinated after turning to strangers online
  30. FDA announces crackdown on illegal dietary supplements
  31. Medicare patients face surging costs for some life-saving drugs
  32. CBD fans want edibles, but some states are cracking down
  33. Katy Perry accused of evoking blackface imagery in shoe designs
  34. Toys R Us plots a 2nd act with new look, new name
  35. Paul Volcker calls out Trump on trade and taxes
  36. 2 kids found in dog cages, 2 more covered in waste in barn
  37. NYPD officer killed by apparent friendly fire
  38. 4 former firefighters charged for “racist, lewd” prank
  39. The craziest details from the “El Chapo” trial
  40. Porch pirate steals boy's cancer meds

T-Mobile, Sprint execs defend $26.5 billion deal to lawmakers

T-Mobile, Sprint executives to defend $26.5 billion merger before House panels

T-Mobile, Sprint execs defend $26.5 billion deal to lawmakers

Updated on: February 13, 2019 / 8:49 AM / AP

T-Mobile sold user data

Top executives of T-Mobile and Sprint are taking their case to Congress, arguing that joining their companies won't hurt competition or jack up consumer prices for wireless services if their $26.5 billion merger is allowed to proceed.

But they're ly to face a skeptical audience at a hearing Wednesday. The deal, which must win approval from federal regulators, would combine the nation's third- and fourth-largest wireless companies, creating a new behemoth roughly the size of industry giants Verizon and AT&T.

Complicating their task is the fact that urban consumers are paying 22 percent less for cellphone service following AT&T's failed bid to acquire T-Mobile in 2011, a combination rejected by federal regulators as anticompetitive. That data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics price index for wireless telephone service.

T-Mobile subsequently launched aggressive promotions and made consumer-friendly changes such as ditching two-year contracts and bringing back unlimited data plans, moves that its rivals soon copied. Merger opponents claim those benefits will disappear if T-Mobile and Sprint no longer competed against one another. Unions have voiced concerns about potential job losses.

“Un-carrier” philosophy

T-Mobile and Sprint say American consumers would get more and pay less as a result of the merger. They argue that the combination would allow them to better compete — not only with Verizon and AT&T, but also with Comcast and others as the wireless, broadband and video industries converge.

The merger would give the new company “the added scale and critical spectrum and network assets to supercharge our 'Un-carrier' philosophy,” T-Mobile US CEO John Legere says in his prepared testimony for the House hearing. “As a result, we can take competition to new levels. We will offer a much faster, broader and deeper network and new services at lower prices.”

That will force the companies' rivals and big cable companies to improve their services and lower prices further, Legere says.

Legere and Marcelo Claure, Sprint Corp.'s executive chairman, will appear before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology.

Pointed questions

The panel doesn't have authority to rule on the merger, but members are ly to use their platform to ask pointed questions. Now that Democrats control the House, they have convened its first merger-review hearing in eight years.

The T-Mobile-Sprint deal faces reviews by the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. U.S. wireless carriers had been unable to get a merger deal through under President Barack Obama.

But after President Donald Trump's election, a more business-friendly FCC deemed the wireless market “competitive” for the first time since 2009, a move that some experts believe could make it easier to win approval for a merger.

The combined company, to be called T-Mobile, would have some 127 million customers. T-Mobile promised earlier this month not to raise prices for three years following the merger. Among wireless carriers, they have the largest numbers of low-income customers, who are frequent users of prepaid phone plans.

The three-year price pledge is an “empty promise” full of loopholes and difficult for regulators to enforce, says a group called the 4Competition Coalition, which includes labor unions, public interest advocates, satellite TV and cable company Altice and rural wireless companies.

Some analysts see T-Mobile's offer to keep a lid on prices as a signal that the deal isn't ly to be approved.

Analysts at New Street Research say the Justice Department may not be buying T-Mobile's argument that combining with Sprint will bring lower consumer prices.

Moreover, the head of Justice's antitrust division doesn't merger conditions requiring regulators to keep an eye on the combined company's behavior for years after.

New jobs?

The companies also are promising they would have more employees after the merger, especially in rural areas, than they do as stand-alone carriers. T-Mobile has promised to deliver as many as 5,600 new jobs and five new call centers by 2021.

But an analysis by the Communications Workers of America labor union found that job cuts could number up to 30,000, mostly because T-Mobile would close thousands of overlapping stores.

T-Mobile and Sprint also say the deal would help accelerate their development of faster 5G wireless networks and ensure that the U.S. doesn't cede leadership on the technology to China.

Telecom analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson Research notes that AT&T and T-Mobile wise claimed that joining forces would mean better wireless coverage for U.S. customers, lower prices and job growth. Once Obama-era regulators rejected that merger, both AT&T and T-Mobile managed to build out 4G LTE networks.

Huawei concerns

On a separate front, U.S. national security concerns have mounted around Chinese electronics giant Huawei — charged by U.S. prosecutors with stealing tech secrets in the midst of a trade war between the two countries. The U.S. has been waging a campaign to discourage other countries from using Huawei equipment for 5G networks.

T-Mobile's German parent Deutsche Telekom would own about 42 percent of the new company, while Japan's SoftBank, which controls Sprint, would own 27 percent. The rest would be held by the public. Some critics say the fact that Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank have used Huawei components raises concerns. SoftBank reportedly has moved away from using Huawei equipment.

The merger already has been cleared on national security grounds by a multi-agency U.S. body that reviews transactions involving foreign investment.

First published on February 13, 2019

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Источник: https://www.kcfj570.com/2019/02/13/t-mobile-sprint-execs-defend-26-5-billion-deal-to-lawmakers/

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