August 25, 2019

Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Faces New Hurdle With Lawsuit by States

Mr. Trump regards 5G advancement as a key political prize, arguing that China’s lead in establishing the high-speed mobile networks poses a threat to national security. The technology will be a crucial component in the development of robotics, driverless vehicles and other emerging industries. “American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter this year.

T-Mobile, led by John Legere, an executive with roughly 6.3 million Twitter followers who favors a wardrobe heavy on the bright magenta color the company uses in its advertisements, has been a top player in an aggressive lobbying effort in Washington.

In an effort to appease concerns over competition, Mr. Legere and his Sprint counterpart, the company’s executive chairman, Marcelo Claure, have offered to scale back their market share by selling Boost Mobile, a Sprint-owned prepaid wireless brand popular with lower-income customers.

Democratic lawmakers have noted that executives pushing for the deal have stayed at Trump hotels repeatedly since the proposed merger was announced. In January, Mr. Legere stayed two nights at a $2,246 suite at the Trump International Hotel in the capital.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Ms. James, the New York attorney general, said her office had been conducting an investigation into the proposed merger for roughly a year. She and the other attorneys general “have a renewed focus on mergers and competitiveness not only in the tech industry, but in other industries as well,” she said.

A combined T-Mobile and Sprint would put 30,000 jobs at risk, said Dennis Trainor, the vice president of the local chapter of the Communications Workers of America union.

Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin joined California and New York in filing the lawsuit.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/business/sprint-tmobile-merger.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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