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As state AGs sue to block Sprint-T-Mobile merger, Consumer Reports urges Justice Dept. to join opposition

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorneys general from 10 states, led by California and New York, today announced that they are bringing antitrust enforcement action to block the proposed merger of telecom giants Sprint and T-Mobile.

Consumer Reports applauded the move and called on the U.S. Department of Justice to join the effort to block the $26 billion deal that would combine the third and fourth largest U.S. telecom carriers.  CR testified before Congress in opposition to the Sprint-T-Mobile merger in 2018.

George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, said, “We applaud the leadership that these states are taking to stop this anti-competitive merger, and protect the benefits that consumers get from competition between these two giants.   The Justice Department has been carefully examining this deal, and we urge Justice to join the states in opposing it.  At a time when the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are pledging to look at reining in the power of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, the last thing that should happen is allowing these two telecom giants to combine.”

Recently, three of the five members of the Federal Communications Commission indicated that they were leaning in favor of the merger, citing conditions that the companies had reportedly pledged to gain approval.

Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, said, “Conditions won’t fix this merger. While a majority of the FCC is signaling they support this deal, the Justice Department has its own authority under the antitrust laws, and Justice should step up and oppose it, as these states are doing.  Allowing T-Mobile and Sprint to combine and get more powerful would do absolutely nothing to advance innovation or bring any improvements for consumers. This merger would only restrict our choices, increase the prices we pay, and lower the quality we get.”

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Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For more than 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.