Mobile Gets Grilled By Democrats

Doris Richards
March 15, 2019

Sprint, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Softbank Group, and T-Mobile are waiting for USA regulators to approve the 26 billion dollar deal.

The chief executives of T-Mobile and Sprint have defended their planned merger in a congressional hearing.

Legere insisted that the choice to stay at the hotel was his alone and that it reflects his consistent practices in previous years. "I'm always concerned when there is evidence or a suggestion that someone is trying to curry favor with the administration by staying at a Trump Hotel - I think that's a concern". Johnson pressed on. "You understand the optics of that?" What it looks like?

The top Democrat on a House subcommittee, tasked with oversight of antitrust law, said he's concerned with a broad range of implications tied to the multi-billion-dollar merger deal between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Legere said that he was unaware of any contacts between the White House and the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission who were reviewing the deal. After the Post's report, lawmakers such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., sent letters to T-Mobile inquiring about the stays. "It appears that you were trying to influence the merger", she told Legere.

Republicans on the committee disagreed. The Post later reported that the nine executives spent 52 nights at the hotel after the announcement and spent a total of $195,000 at the Trump hotel over the past 10 months out of a total of $1.4 million in corporate hotel spending throughout the time period. "I'm kind of embarrassed sitting here listening to the line of questioning of the gentleman from Georgia", he said, referring to Johnson. Legere subsequently deleted his mean tweets directed at Trump where he disparaged the hotel and said he would never want to return, although it's unclear when exactly they were deleted. "I wonder if I have a conflict of interest?"

The agreement to combine the No. 3 and No. 4 US wireless carriers, struck in April, was approved by both companies' shareholders in October and has received national security clearance, but needs approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. "I am deeply skeptical that consolidation is the path forward to lowering prices, increasing opportunity, or unleashing competition", he added.

The Lifeline Assistance program is a government service providing discounted phone service or free phones to "qualifying low-income households".

T-Mobile will continue to support Sprint's Assurance Wireless brand "indefinitely" if its merger is approved, T-Mobile president and COO Mike Sievert has confirmed. Sprint said it hopes to complete the regulatory approval process by the end of June.

Last month at a congressional hearing, House Democrats raised worries about the deal because the USA wireless market has just four main carriers.

To defend the proposed transaction, Legere pointed to the company's history of aggressive pricing, said it would need 11,000 new employees by 2024 and pledged to building the next generation of wireless, called 5G, without equipment from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd or ZTE Corp, two Chinese telecommunications firms distrusted by US national security experts.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article