Mobile hires former FCC commissioner Clyburn to help lobby for Sprint merger

Yolanda Curtis
February 7, 2019

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is ramping up pressure on the Federal Communications Commission to approve his company's merger with Sprint.

Clyburn's hiring underscores the lengths to which T-Mobile has gone to ensure its deal sails through; earlier this week, the company submitted filings to the FCC promising not to raise prices on its cellphone plans for at least three years after the deal closes. But having served for almost a decade on the commission, Clyburn knows all the ins and outs of the agency and how it approaches merger reviews, making her experience invaluable to T-Mobile as it tries to persuade the FCC and the Justice Department to bless its acquisition.

Some critics have argued that combining the networks would mean higher prices for customers, but T-Mobile is guaranteeing that it won't.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere poses with Spring CEO Marcelo Claure before a Senate subcommittee hearing. The company also thinks that all wireless consumers would be better off after the merger as AT&T and Verizon would most likely reduce prices also to remain competitive.

T-Mobile said it is committed to bringing 5,600 new jobs to the industry by 2021 as well as building five new customer experience centers and expanding two current facilities. It is undergoing an antitrust review by the Justice Department and the FCC must decide that the transaction is in the public interest. This foundation is Sprint's effort to help one million high school students to get connected by giving them mobile devices like smartphones, mobile hotspots, and tablets along with free Sprint mobile service for up to four years in high school.

While prices would effectively stay the same, there could be changes in rates based on taxes, fees, or third-party surcharges which T-Mobile said in a separate letter to the FCC was "not within the control of New T-Mobile". Sprint's (s) stock price, up 16% over the past year, was unchanged.

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