PUC approves request for Sprint and T-Mobile to merge – Docket No. 2018-0157

Posted on Jul 1, 2019 in Key Dockets

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the merger transaction that will result in Sprint Communications becoming indirect wholly owned subsidiary of T-Mobile USA.

The Consumer Advocate (CA), in its statement of position, recommended the PUC deny T-Mobile and Sprint’s request for a merger transaction between the two companies. The CA noted the impact of the proposed merger on Hawaii’s prices and telecommunications services was unclear and it cannot be presumed that competition serves the same purpose as public interest regulation. Later, however, after the applicants’ commitments to accelerate 5G roll-out in Hawaii, the CA entered into a settlement.

Hawaii joins multi-state lawsuit to stop Sprint-T-Mobile merger

Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors announced in June that Hawaii has joined 13 other states in filing a multi-state lawsuit to halt the proposed merger of telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint. The complaint alleges that the merger of two of the four largest national mobile network operators would deprive consumers of the benefits of competition and drive up prices for cellphone services.

“The proposed merger transaction raises significant antitrust concerns, which could adversely affect a consumer service that has become a necessary part of modern life,” said Attorney General Connors.