Law Street Media

Colorado drops suit against T-Mobile-Sprint merger after Dish promises 2,000 jobs

In July, the Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the T-Mobile – Sprint merger for $26 billion. The approval came after it was announced that Dish will be the fourth largest carrier in the United States after a deal with Sprint and T-Mobile, made to secure the approval of the merger. As part of the deal, Dish will use T-Mobile’s network and infrastructure for seven years, while it works on its own.

Colorado was one of nine states filing a lawsuit to prevent the merger. Colorado is leaving the suit that challenged the T-Mobile-Sprint merger after Dish Network agreed to locate its new wireless headquarters in the state. Colorado’s Attorney General’s Office announced it would leave the lawsuit. Colorado is the second state to leave the suit against the merger, the first being Mississippi. The Dish headquarters will bring 2,000 jobs to Colorado, which will-spearhead the effort to build a 5G network.

In its statement, the Attorney General’s Office explained that Colorado is leaving the suit because the deal will benefit the state: 2,000 people will be employed by Dish and it will be one of the first 10 states to have a 5G network, by 2023. This will greatly benefit people living in rural areas.  

In an agreement with Dish, the company will keep its Littleton, CO location for at least seven years. It will have fulltime employment for at least 2,000 people in Colorado working mostly on wireless at Dish facilities.

In a separate agreement with T-Mobile, the state and rural residents will benefit from improved 5G network coverage and lower priced plans.

If T-Mobile and Dish fail to meet the agreed upon commitments, they will pay a total of $100 million fine; $80 million and $20 million respectively.

“The State of Colorado joined a multistate lawsuit to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger because of concerns about how the merger would affect Coloradans. The agreements we are announcing today address those concerns by guaranteeing jobs in Colorado, a statewide buildout of a fast 5G network that will especially benefit rural communities, and low-cost mobile plans,” said Natalie Hanlon Leh, Chief Deputy Attorney General. “Our announcement today ensures Coloradans will benefit from Dish’s success as a nationwide wireless competitor.”

“Today’s settlement with Colorado positions DISH, a company founded in Colorado, to make a transformative impact on the wireless market,” Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said in a statement.

The DOJ Antitrust Division’s approval means the merger could be finalized by the end of year. With the merger T-Mobile would have a total of 90 million customers. As part of the $5 billion deal, Sprint will handover its 9.3 million prepaid customers, provide access to 20,000 cell sites, and hundreds of retail locations. The merger has created fear of price increases for consumers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to approve the merger.

“With this merger and accompanying divestiture, we are expanding output significantly by ensuring that large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high quality 5G networks,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said. “Today’s settlement will provide Dish with the assets and transitional services required to become a facilities-based mobile network operator that can provide a full range of mobile wireless services nationwide.  I want to thank our state partners for joining us in this settlement. In crafting this remedy, we are also mindful of the significant commitments T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish have made to the Federal Communications Commission.”

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