Jobs and Competition Harmed If T-Mobile Buys Sprint, Union Says

(Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc.’s proposed $26.5 billion purchase of Sprint Corp. would cost jobs, threaten competition and may not speed the arrival of advanced 5G networks, the Communications Workers of America said in a filing.

T-Mobile and Sprint, the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless providers, have a history of targeting each others’ customers, and combining the two could bring higher prices for consumers as competition is diminished, the union said in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission.

Comments on the merger announced in April were due Monday at the FCC, which is scrutinizing the deal along with the U.S. Justice Department.

The merger would result in the loss of more than 24,000 jobs as overlapping retail stores are closed, with another 4,500 jobs lost as similar positions are eliminated at corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas and Bellevue, Washington, the union said.

The companies “have made no showing that the merged firm would have either the incentive or ability to provide hallmark 5G services outside of densely-populated areas,” the union said in its filing.

T-Mobile and Sprint have cited the enormous costs of building a 5G network of ultra-fast, ubiquitous connections as a reason for approval from Washington agencies that previously all but ruled out combining two of the top four U.S. carriers. “We’ll make sure America wins the global 5G race,” T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere told lawmakers in June.

T-Mobile and Sprint have a long history of violating workers’ rights, the CWA said, pointing to cases over non-payment of overtime wages and efforts to squelch union organizing.

Tara Darrow, spokeswoman for T-Mobile, didn’t reply to a request for comment, nor did David Tovar, a spokesman for Sprint.

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