Technology

Senate Dems ask regulators to investigate potential Sprint-T-Mobile merger

A group of Senate Democrats is asking regulators to investigate the potential effects of a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, a deal that is reportedly in the works.

In letters to the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission on Friday, the eight senators, led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), said they are concerned that the potential deal could hurt consumers.

"Beginning an investigation into a merger of T-Mobile and Sprint now will allow your agencies to quickly, but fully, review the agreement if it is announced," they wrote.

"Indeed, multiple news sources are reporting that the two parties are close to a deal in principle. The likelihood of the transaction occurring combined with the serious issues that it raises provide compelling reason for DOJ and the FCC to begin investigating the potential transaction."

The letter was also signed by Sens. Al Franken (Minn.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Ed Markey (Mass), and Jeff Merkley (Ore.).

Reuters reported last month that the companies could announce a deal by the end of October.

The merger would reduce the number of major national wireless carriers from four to three, and critics argue that such a consolidated market would lead to less competition and possibly higher prices for consumers.

The Republican-controlled FCC said in a report last month that despite the consolidation, there is effective competition in the industry.

"An anticompetitive acquisition would increase prices, burdening American consumers, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, or forcing them to forego their internet connection altogether," the Democrats wrote on Friday. "Neither outcome is acceptable."

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