LOS ANGELES, June 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Peter Adderton, founder and former CEO of Boost Mobile USA, is deeply concerned that Sprint and T-Mobile executives have nothing to say to the FCC and the American people about their future plans for the behemoth prepaid wireless business unit that would result from the companies’ proposed merger. MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile, three of the dominant prepaid wireless brands in the country, would be consolidated under the merger, representing nearly 50-percent of the prepaid wireless market.
On June 18, Sprint and T-Mobile submitted a nearly 700-page filing to the FCC, pressing their case for the merger’s approval. The long-winded filing did not include a single mention of the New T-Mobile’s plans to protect the interests of the 30+ million prepaid customers who are at risk of being adversely affected by the transaction. Adderton is likewise concerned that the future of America’s 30,000 independent wireless dealers is not addressed in the filing.
“The Sprint/T-Mobile FCC filing references ‘5G’ service 1,797 times, although they don’t have a single 5G customer and they won’t have any in 2019 either,” stated Adderton. “That’s a whole lot of talking about something that doesn’t even exist. On the other hand, the New T-Mobile execs are proposing to be the custodians of 30 million low income, minority or credit-challenged Americans, and their filing does not mention ‘prepaid’ a single time. Not once. These prepaid subscribers make up 10-percent of this country’s population and these guys have nothing to say? These are vulnerable populations that depend on their wireless service and most of them simply cannot afford price increases, which economics informs us is the natural outcome of a dramatic decrease in competition.”
“I think the FCC filing is also weak on any discussion of protections for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) or independent wireless dealers,” continued Adderton. “They have plenty of language arguing that the large, cash-rich MVNOs like Google, Comcast and Charter will be stiff competition for the New T-Mobile, but they largely ignore the impact the merger will have on the 300 or so smaller operators.”
Blair Levin, analyst at New Street Research, seems to agree. “(The filing) contains some arguments that we don’t think will get very far with the DOJ or FCC staff, such as cable and MVNOs being counted as competitors.”
In recent weeks Adderton has issued four press releases, each of which raises serious concerns over the impact of the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger on the millions of prepaid subscribers who would be consolidated under this deal. Adderton also funded and launched ALL4PRICE.COM, a website solely intended to raise awareness about these concerns in the minds of consumers, legislators, and DOJ and FCC staffers. Adderton has been clear in his commitment to step in and acquire one or more of the prepaid brands affected by the merger if the New T-Mobile executives are not willing to offer a series of price and service protections to the millions of affected prepaid customers.
“I am calling on Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mike Lee and others participating in the June 27 Senate subcommittee meeting on the merger to press for answers, clarity and protections for the 30+ million prepaid wireless customers affected by this proposed merger, because frankly the blatant omission of this topic in the FCC filing is appalling,” said Adderton. “I am also pressing these same individuals to secure answers and protections for the 30,000 independent wireless dealers in this country whose businesses are at risk, and the 300 Mobile Virtual Network Operators that buy wholesale services from Sprint or T-Mobile or both. That’s more than 30,000 American businesses that are imperiled by this transaction.”
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