State Lawsuit to Prevent Mergers Would Harm Consumers and Taxpayers

The recent lawsuit filed by 10 state attorneys general to block the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is disappointing news for taxpayers and consumers.

“The government should only intervene in mergers when there is a clear threat of consumer harm or excessive marketplace consolidation. Such circumstances simply do not exist in the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. To the contrary, consumers and taxpayers alike stand to benefit from this proposal. The merger would result in more competition and accelerated next-gen wireless network deployment for Americans across the country. Overzealous public officials in federal and state governments should avoid interfering and allow the free market to operate,” stated Brandon Arnold, executive vice president of National Taxpayers Union.

In October of last year, NTU submitted a filing to the Federal Communications Commission in support of the merger. In our submission, we noted the direct benefits that could accrue to taxpayers via an increase in private investment that could obviate the need for some government programs:

For years, taxpayers have been on the hook for expensive and ineffective government subsidies and policies to foster the expansion of broadband and wireless internet services. Worse yet, barriers at each level of government continue to inhibit the advancement of this important transition. However, it must be capital-backed private companies and investors that finance the development of 5G and other services, not government with taxpayer funds.

NTU urges the state attorneys general involved in this case to refocus their efforts on matters where there are legitimate threats to consumer wellbeing.