FCC Chairman Pai Formally Recommends Approval of Sprint/T-Mobile Merger and Associated Dish Requests


Earlier today, the Office of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a news release announcing that he has “shared with his colleagues a draft Order that would approve, subject to conditions, the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.” The news release also announced that the draft Order “addresses certain extensions, commitments, and modifications to DISH’s spectrum holdings to effectuate its deployment of a nationwide 5G network” and “finds that DISH’s planned 5G deployment, in connection with its acquisition of Boost, would also be in the public interest.” Soon after Chairman Pai’s announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a statement supporting’s Chairman Pai’s announcement. Last month, the DOJ and several states entered into a consent decree with Sprint, T-Mobile, and DISH that would approve the merger, provided that Sprint and T-Mobile divest certain assets to DISH. Simultaneously, DISH formally asked the FCC for additional time to build out some of its spectrum facing construction deadlines. However, in June 2019, New York and over a dozen other states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit to block the proposed merger. Even after DISH entered the fray and the DOJ consent decree was announced, several other states, including Texas and Oregon have filed on to the multi-state lawsuit attempting to block the merger and the related DISH deal.

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