Where I Stand on the Proposed Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

UPDATED (May 26, 2018): REVOKING MY SUPPORT FOR THIS MERGER: With word yesterday that T-Mobile is paying duplicitous, lying fascists like former Trump campaign manager and current confidant Corey Lewandowski — and other members of the same consulting firm — for “how to kiss up to sociopathic, racist Donald Trump” advice, I hereby revoke my support for this merger. On its own terms, in an isolated universe, it makes sense. But if the cost of success for the merger is this kind of disgusting kowtowing and feeding of the beast, then the price is far too high. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has one hell of a lot to answer for on this one. ANYTHING for the merger, right John? The road to hell is paved with attitudes like yours.

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Some proposed mergers are disasters for consumers. Back in 2011, AT&T tried to merge with T-Mobile, sending a chill down the spine of longtime T-Mobile subscribers like me (I’ve been with T-Mobile since the first day of Google Android availability with the original “G1” phone — now nearly 10 years ago). Twice before, I’d been unwillingly dragged into AT&T mobile services by mergers.

The proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile was abandoned when the Obama Justice Department wisely filed to block it.

In the years since, T-Mobile and Sprint have had an on-again, off-again courtship regarding a potential merger. Today they announced a definitive agreement to actually merge. Even under Trump, regulatory approval of the merger (which could take at least a year) is by no means guaranteed, since it would reduce the number of major mobile carriers in the USA from four to three.

I am, however, fairly sanguine about this merger proposal based on the descriptions I’ve seen this morning. The combined company will be firmly under T-Mobile’s control, with T-Mobile’s current CEO and COO retaining their positions, and the combined entity reportedly named — you guessed it — T-Mobile. Magenta for the win!

And frankly, at this stage of the game, I see this combined firm as being the most effective practical competition against the serious telecom bullies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Charter.

The devil is always in the details, but at least the potential for this merger ultimately being significantly consumer-positive seems to be in the cards.

We shall see.