Texas’ attorney general has settled with T-Mobile Inc and Sprint Corp and will drop his opposition to the $26.5 billion merger, leaving just Democratic attorneys general fighting the proposed combination.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had been the only Republican among the state attorneys general who had filed a lawsuit to stop the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers.
Without Texas, 14 states and the District of Columbia argue that the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers. A trial is set to begin on Dec. 9 in Manhattan federal court.
MacDailyNews Note: Here is the statement from the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, verbatim:
Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that his office reached a settlement with T-Mobile resolving the state’s antitrust claims against the proposed merger of mobile wireless telecommunications service providers Sprint and T-Mobile. The agreement is designed to prevent the New T-Mobile from increasing prices for wireless services on Texans for five years after the merger is complete. The agreement also commits the New T-Mobile to build out a 5G network throughout Texas, including rural areas of our state, during the next six years.
“My office is responsible for protecting consumers and this settlement ensures that the New T-Mobile is not in a position to overcharge Texans for wireless service, and at the same time, obligates the New T-Mobile to invest in a high-quality 5G network that will serve the needs of Texas’ growing economy, or face stiff financial penalties,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Our objectives in joining the initial lawsuit were to protect Texans from unnecessary price hikes and to ensure that Texans living in both urban and rural areas will not get stuck with substandard service as the market for wireless telecommunication services evolves to adopt new standards of technology with the power to transform the Texas economy. This agreement achieves those objectives.”
Terms of the agreement include requirements that the New T-Mobile:
• Give all Texas customers access to the same or better unlimited talk, text, and data rate plans as those offered by T-Mobile as of the date of the agreement for the next five years;
• Give all Texas customers access to T-Mobile limited data rate plans at a cost far below what is currently offered in the industry;
• Commit to provide 5G wireless broadband coverage to areas where most Texans live, including most Texans living in rural portions of the state within the next three years and to expand that 5G coverage dramatically within the next six years;
• Offer Texas residents that are currently employed by Sprint and T-Mobile substantially similar employment with the New T-Mobile.
Source: Ken Paxton Attorney General of Texas