The government is reviewing a massive merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. If approved, this deal will lead to higher cell phone prices and worse plans for all mobile phone users — hurting those who can least afford it the most. We have to stop it. Write to the FCC & Congress now!
Here’s why the deal matters to you: if approved, the merger will reduce the number of national mobile phone providers from four to three, and eliminate two of the country’s lowest-cost cell phone providers, Sprint and T-Mobile. Less competition means we’ll have to face higher bills, lower data caps, and crappier customer service. Students, millennials, low-income families, communities of color, and anyone looking for a good deal rely on Sprint and T-Mobile for affordable mobile-Internet access. If the U.S. government approves this merger, consumers will have nowhere to turn for affordable access.
The merger is being reviewed by both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). We expect a final decision in early 2019. Our strategy is to get as many people as possible to learn about the merger and flood the FCC with comments opposing it. Then we’ll make sure Congress knows just how bad the merger would be for consumers since they are ultimately responsible for FCC decisions.
Cell phone users in the U.S. are already paying some of the highest prices in the world for mobile Internet — and less competition would make this even worse. After the merger there will be no fourth “maverick” competitor like T-Mobile to offer innovations like unlimited data to out-maneuver the big three. Finally, while the merger will hurt everyone, it will disproportionately hurt the low-income families and people of color who primarily choose Sprint and T-Mobile as their providers. This is especially troubling since data shows that huge numbers of low-income people are completely reliant on their phones to get online.
11 states are reviewing the merger to see if it will harm their residents. In January, dozens of activists flooded public hearings held by the California Public Utilities Commission in Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego, and warned commissioners that a T-Mobile-Sprint merger would raise cell phone costs for every single Californian. You can see what whent down here.
Above: Activists gather to fight the T-Mobile / Sprint merger at the San Diego public hearing on January 17th, 2019.