August 2, 2019
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined more than a dozen other Attorneys General in a multistate lawsuit blocking the U.S. Department of Justice’s anticompetitive megamerger of telecommunications giants T-Mobile and Sprint.
“The addition of the state of Texas to our lawsuit sends a powerful message of opposition to this reckless, anticompetitive megamerger,” said Nessel. “This is a great example of bipartisanship as our states join forces to preserve competition and protect our residents from corporate abuse.”
Last week, following news of a proposed deal between the U.S. Department of Justice and T-Mobile/Sprint, the states involved in the lawsuit expressed serious concerns about whether the deal with satellite TV operator DISH would create a fourth independent competitor that could replace the competition otherwise lost as a result of this megamerger. The states also expressed concerns about intrusive government market intervention, with federal regulators appearing to pick winners and losers rather than enforcing antitrust laws.
The addition of the Texas Attorney General strengthens the momentum of the states’ lawsuit. “It is the Attorney General’s responsibility to preserve free market competition, which has proven to result in lower prices and better quality for consumers,” said Texas AG Paxton. “The bargain struck by the U.S. Department of Justice is not in the best interest of working Texans, who need affordable mobile wireless telecommunication services that are fit to match the speed and technological innovation demands of Texas’ growing economy.”
“I encourage my colleagues across the nation to join us. Advocating for our residents and their pocketbooks transcends party lines and I’m grateful to Attorney General Paxton for joining us in this fight,” Nessel added.
The case now includes the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Nevada, Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
As a majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Mobile US Inc. has more than 79 million subscribers and majority-owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., Sprint Corporation has more than 54 million subscribers. The service providers are the third and fourth largest mobile wireless networks in the U.S. and are the lower-cost carriers among the “Big Four” — Verizon Wireless and AT&T round out the market. Intense competition spurred particularly by T-Mobile and Sprint, has resulted in declining prices, increased coverage and better quality for all mobile phone subscribers.