T-Mobile, Sprint execs pitch merger to Congress

T-Mobile, Sprint execs pitch merger to Congress
© Getty Images

Executives from T-Mobile and Sprint on Wednesday pitched their $26 billion merger to Congress, telling a Senate panel that the combination would give their companies the ability to develop increased capabilities and catch up with bigger wireless carriers.

“When we do this, AT&T and Verizon will be forced to react and follow our lead or we will happily take their customers and give them more value and better price,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel.

“Trust me, the New T-Mobile will not stop, we will be relentless,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

And Marcelo Claure, the executive chairman of Sprint, said that his company needs the merger to go through to survive.

“We have struggled to barely break even,” Claure said.

The two executives also painted the deal as essential for keeping the U.S. on the bleeding edge for developing 5G wireless networks. The combined company, they argued, would be able to develop a 5G network that could compete with those from AT&T and Verizon and offer greater benefits to consumers.

But the deal has its opponents.

Democrats like Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat MORE (Minn.), the ranking member on the antitrust subcommittee, point out that consumers have benefitted from the competition between Sprint and T-Mobile as lower-cost alternatives to the top two wireless providers.

“Will a combined T-Mobile-Sprint need to compete as hard?” Klobuchar said. “Will that competitive energy remain when the lowest-cost provider is gone and the merged company is similar in scale to Verizon and AT&T?”

Ultimately, it’s not Congress that they’ll have to convince. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice will need to sign off on the deal in order for it to advance.