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

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

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 KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDem holds single-digit lead in race to replace Franken Is there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas MORE (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 FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenElection Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout Dem holds single-digit lead in race to replace Franken GOP lawmaker once belittled sexual harassment: 'How traumatizing was it?' MORE (Minn.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress raises pressure on Saudi Arabia Quote from Ford’s testimony spray-painted on Yale Law School entrance Corker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death MORE (Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK MORE (Ore.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Booker bill would create federally funded savings account for every child Affordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign MORE (N.Y.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyElection Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Dems damp down hopes for climate change agenda MORE (Mass), and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Graham: Saudi’s findings on slain journalist not 'credible' MORE (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.”