T-Mobile and Sprint certainly think their plan to join forces is good for the public, and now regulators want to hear from the people.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is now taking public comment on the deal, first announced in April. The FCC is tasked with determining whether a combined T-Mobile/Sprint is in the public’s best interest, and the organization has the power to deny the bid or impose conditions.
Comments are due by Aug. 27. Organizations opposed or in support of a deal like this typically use this portion of the process to make their voices heard, though public comment is open to everyone.
If the deal goes through, the combined company will be called T-Mobile with John Legere at the helm as CEO. If the companies receive regulatory approval, they expect the merger to close by the first half of 2019.
T-Mobile and Sprint are tasked with convincing regulators that the deal, which would reduce the number of major U.S. carriers from four to three and create a $146 billion company on par with AT&T and Verizon, won’t reduce competition. T-Mobile’s Legere and Sprint’s Marcelo Claure continue to argue that their combined companies will help the U.S. remain competitive in 5G, the high-speed next generation of wireless technology.
“Nearly every business in America will be able to use 5G to revolutionize how they create and deliver goods and services,” Legere said during prepared remarks before a Senate subcommittee last month. “To make this happen and deliver on the full promise of 5G, we need to combine Sprint and T-Mobile now.”