Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a veteran critic of media mergers, says she hopes state attorneys general are able to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger with their lawsuit after the FCC joined Justice in allowing the merger to go through.
Following the closing of the FCC vote at 3-2 for the merger Wednesday (Oct. 16), Klobuchar released a stinging rebuke of the decision on the merger, which she had opposed early on.
“I have repeatedly raised serious antitrust concerns about the harmful effects of merging T-Mobile and Sprint, two of the four remaining nationwide wireless carriers," said Klobuchar. "Overwhelming evidence shows that approving this merger will almost certainly hurt competition and consumers and lead to higher prices, worse service, and less innovation."
Klobuchar, along with other Hill Democrats, had urged the FCC to put out the deal as amended by the DOJ settlement for comment, which FCC chair Ajit Pai declined to do. She also pointed out Wednesday that she had yet to get an answer from Justice on allegations that White House officials had attempted to insert their views into the antitrust investigation.
More than a dozen states are suing to block the deal, arguing that the merger will reduce competition with no guarantee that Dish will ever morph into a new "uncarrier." The main DOJ condition is that the combined company spin off Boost Mobile to Dish, which with its spectrum holdings and FCC buildout requirements, will become a fourth facilities-based competitor to AT&T, Verizon and the new T-Mobile.