T-Mobile US appealed to smaller operators which run services on its network to publicly support a proposed merger with Sprint, in an attempt to sway regulators to approve the deal.
Reuters reported T-Mobile is conducting a behind-the-scenes PR push urging MVNOs to publish statements or write newspaper editorials backing the deal, which will reduce the US mobile market to three major operators if approved.
Citing one unnamed operator which partners with T-Mobile, Reuters stated the company had received emailed suggestions on how to support the deal. It remained anonymous due to concerns on how it will be affected should the merger be approved.
The email reportedly suggested the company write an article or submit a letter to regulators outlining backing for the deal. T-Mobile also offered suggestions on what the company could say in interviews about the benefits of the merger, in addition to the advantages it would have for 5G in the US.
Consumer Cellular, a company which uses T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks for a service targeting people aged 50 years-old and over, was also asked to submit comments.
T-Mobile and Sprint made their first formal arguments to win clearance for the deal in June, citing lower prices, greater competition and 5G leadership for the US as key benefits of the tie-up. The companies have said in the past they expect the merger to close in early 2019.
US regulator Federal Communications Commission is in the process of reviewing the deal, collecting public comments and formal petitions against the deal in a process which runs until 27 August.
In a previous report, Reuters said the US Department of Justice is also gathering opinions from MVNOs, due to concerns the tie-up could lead to higher prices for those companies.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back