The states presented evidence on Monday that T-Mobile's prepaid brand MetroPCS lowered the price on its phone plans in 2016 in the same week that Sprint introduced an aggressive promotion to offer phone plans comparable to Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, but at half the price.
"Legal experts say it is unprecedented for the states to reject such a settlement and sue to block a merger of this size and national scope without the support or involvement of federal authorities".
The evidence is central to the states' argument that Sprint and T-Mobile as standalone companies force competition between the carriers and provide the best deal for consumers. The state attorneys general claim that the deal between two of the top USA telco giants would reduce competition and cost Americans billions of dollars in bills.
If the states win their case, other companies may attempt to merge with or acquire T-Mobile or Sprint, according to sources in a CNBC report. The hearing marked the first day of a trial between the wireless service provider and several state attorney generals headed by Leticia James of NY and Xavier Becerra of California. "They will claim he 'never plays by the rules, ' a person with direct knowledge of the case told The Post", Kosman writes.
In atypical fashion, 14 state attorneys general are challenging a deal that federal government has already approved.
In their questioning Monday of Sole and another Sprint executive, Angela Rittgers, lawyers for the states aimed to demonstrate that the competition between Sprint and T-Mobile was key to lowering prices and bringing unlimited plans back to the wireless market, benefiting consumers. "Competition between the mobile companies has resulted in better coverage and cheaper, more reliable service for all of us", said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, when the suit was filed in June. The agreement was announced in 2018 and received approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice earlier this year. While the operator has the lucrative mid-band spectrum that T-Mobile covets, it lacks higher frequency millimeter wave positions that would allow faster speeds and a low band spectrum that would allow it to cover a larger portion of the country.
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That condition is to be met by the sale of Sprint's prepaid business and spectrum assets to Dish Network Inc.
T-Mobile agreed to sell millions of customers to Dish and lease its network to the young rival as he built his own.
"We plan to build one of the world's most advanced 5G networks, which will massively revolutionize the way consumers and businesses use their connected devices to enhance their daily lives", Claure added. If their ARPU is too low then they won't have the cash to invest in the network, and then everyone loses out.
T-Mobile and Sprint say the merger will help them to offer a 100 megabit per second (Mbps) network that will help substitute home broadband connections.
Legere is stepping down as CEO next spring. Other notable witnesses include Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges, who began his testimony Monday.