US lawmakers fault regulators on T-Mobile-Sprint tie-up

WASHINGTON (AFP) – United States (US) Democratic lawmakers on Monday criticised the process for approving the merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, saying regulators downplayed the competition implications of the USD26 billion deal.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone expressed their concerns in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai.

The two lawmakers cited a “troubling lack of transparency, and an apparent lack of appropriate process” by the regulatory body. They questioned whether an original analysis drafted by the FCC’s merger task force may have been supplanted later with one that downplayed the competitive risks of merging the third- and fourth-largest carriers.

“We are particularly concerned that the underlying analysis drafted by the merger task force based on the evidence submitted into the docket was altered by the commissioners and replaced with an analysis that downplays the competitive harms of the merger,” Nadler and Pallone said.

Sprint and T-Mobile logos. PHOTO: AFP