Critics of the merger have alleged that the merged entity, New T-Mobile, would take advantage of its stronger position and hike rates. Clyburn was part of the majority on the FCC that rejected in 2011 T-Mobile's previous attempt to merge with AT&T. 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. By contrast, all of T-Mobile's rivals had lackluster quarters, suggesting the company was once again attracting customers from other brands.
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.
"T-Mobile finished another year with record breaking financials and our best-ever customer growth", CEO John Legere said in a statement. Sprint trailed with 54 million.
Former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican, also consults for T-Mobile. Such situations included potentially raising prices to pass through increased costs from taxes, fees and surcharges, or costs for services from third parties.
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In a letter to the FCC, T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere asked the government to move forward "expeditiously" in reviewing the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers, and attempted to allay fears the deal would mean higher prices. Despite being the fastest-growing carrier in recent years, T-Mobile rounded out 2018 with 80 million subscribers.
But from another perspective, Clyburn's involvement with T-Mobile serves to inoculate the company from critics who argue the deal will be largely bad for consumers because it will mean the elimination of a competitor from the USA wireless market. "Rather, our merger will ensure that American consumers will pay less and get more".
Shares of T-Mobile, which have risen 9% over the past year, gained 1% in after hours trading.
The $26 billion merger would eliminate price increases for three years if approved.