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Request to Stop Clock on T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Junked by the FCC

A petition to stop the clock or extend the review period on the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger has been denied by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This informal period covers 180 days as the government agency conducts an analysis on the acquisition. It even encouraged the public to send in their concerns to the agency before August 27th.

The request was sent in by a group of organizations as a request for operators to provide their public interest statement with more precise data on the spectrum concentration with a market-by-market analysis.

Among those that joined the group are the Communications Workers of America, NTCA-- The Rural Broadband Association, Rural Wireless Association, Consumers Union, Common Cause, Public Knowledge, The Greenlining Institute, Free Press, Benton Foundation, Writers Guild of America West, and New America's Open Technology Institute.

The report from Phone Scoop shows that the commission's decision to deny the request of the group was because they were unable to establish any basis for approving their extension request. Moreover, the agency pointed out that the timing of the Jewish holidays set for September, does not warrant a guarantee to extend the time.

The biggest concern of those opposing the merger has something to do with the competition in the U.S. wireless industry. If T-Mobile and Sprint were to merge, the number of major carriers would be reduced to just three instead of four. The merger would also cause a major shift in the prepaid market, a point that was earlier made by Boost Mobile founder, Peter Adderton.

The executives at T-Mobile do not foresee this to be the case, however, as they believe the merger will result to cheaper wireless service. With their access to Sprint's 5G spectrum, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert believes the merger could even give Americans more affordable options and a never-seen-before network service.

With its decision, the FCC continues to follow its schedule. Petitions to Deny are set to end on August 27th while opposition comments are due on September 17th. The replies to these will be due on October 9th.

This follows an earlier report that T-Mobile sent out a request to its MVNO partners to show their support for the merger with Sprint. The recipients of the email, however, do not feel pressured to comply with the request of T-Mobile. In fact, there are some partners that are still undecided on whether or not they should submit a comment to the FCC.

Source: FierceWireless   

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