SACRAMENTO, Feb. 11, 2020 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued the following statement on the court decision approving the merger of telecommunications companies Sprint and T-Mobile. Attorney General Becerra co-led a coalition of 14 attorneys general to file a lawsuit challenging the merger of the telecommunications giants. The coalition argued that the merger of two of the four national wireless carriers would harm consumers nationwide — including the more than 13 million Californians currently served by the two companies — by reducing competition in the market and putting access to affordable, reliable wireless service at risk.
“Our fight to oppose this merger sends a strong message: even in the face of powerful opposition, we won’t hesitate to stand up for consumers who deserve choice and fair prices,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We’ll stand on the side of competition over megamergers, every time. And our coalition is prepared to fight as long as necessary to protect innovation and competitive costs.”
T-Mobile and Sprint compete intensely with each other on price, features, and quality. In April 2018, T-Mobile announced its third attempt to merge with a competitor. Today’s court decision allowed the merger to move forward, reducing the market from four national mobile network operators – T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T – to three. And, the merger of the two companies will eliminate T-Mobile’s low-cost competition.
Attorney General Becerra, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the coalition of attorneys general filed a lawsuit to block the deal on June 11, 2019. Each previous merger attempt by the companies had been challenged or abandoned due to opposition from the federal government, but in July 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal. The multistate coalition, however, continued to have serious concerns about the merger.