TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced that she is joining the U.S. Department of Justice along with 10 other states in support of the T-Mobile US, Inc. and Sprint Corporation merger. The merger will bring Florida into a new era of high-speed connectivity while protecting Florida consumers and jobs. Florida’s support is part of an agreement reached earlier this week to address Florida-specific concerns, including concessions to protect Florida jobs and improving infrastructure. That agreement follows a comprehensive review of the merger by the Attorney General’s Antitrust Division, which reviewed the transaction extensively alongside the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. The DOJ and six other states previously entered into a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint to address certain concerns that existed with the transaction. An additional four states have either joined that action or are otherwise supportive of the merger. The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has formally recommended that the rest of the Commission approve the proposed deal which contains certain commitments determined to be in the public interest.
Under the agreement, Florida received further state-specific commitments from T-Mobile in addition to the substantial commitments given to the DOJ and FCC. T-Mobile has already agreed to freeze its pricing for a period of years and do significant nationwide buildout of 5G service, including over rural areas of the nation and in Florida. T-Mobile has also agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid cellular business to Dish Network Corp. Dish has committed to enter the market and become a viable facilities-based competitor. The Agreement will protect hundreds of Florida jobs, ensures coverage and high-speed connectivity throughout the state, and help improve service for Floridians living in rural parts of the state.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Today, we joined with the DOJ and other states in supporting a merger that is a win for all Floridians, especially those who live in our rural regions. Among other things, Panhandle areas devastated by Michael will have fortified cell towers to better protect communication during and after storms. Our office, along with our federal partners, undertook an extensive review of the relevant information regarding this proposed transaction, including working to understand their proposed business plan and plans for strategic development for Florida.”
In April 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint announced an all-stock transaction in which the two companies would combine. The Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice investigated the proposed merger and sought relevant information from T-Mobile and Sprint regarding the companies’ business and strategic plans for Florida.
The companies’ state-specific commitments are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General under the laws of the State of Florida.
To view the full agreement, click here.
To view the DOJ’s filings from today, click here.
Several commitments made as a result of the agreement include:
- Network Build Commitment: within three years of the closing date, T-Mobile/Sprint will deploy a 5G network in Florida that reaches at least 76 percent of the state population and 68 percent of the state’s rural population. Within six years, the 5G network will reach at least 94 percent of the state population and 73 percent of the state’s rural population;
- In-Home Broadband Commitment: within three years of the closing date, T-Mobile/Sprint will market its In-Home Broadband Service product to at least 710,000 households in Florida, of which 72,000 will be rural households. Within six years, the product will be marketed in more than two million total households in the state, of which at least 232,000 will be rural households;
- Customer Experience Center Commitment: the company will continue to operate a major customer experience center in the Tampa area that employs at least 800 employees for at least six years following the closing date;
- Retail Stores Commitment: the company will locate at least 20 new retail stores in northern Florida to serve small towns and rural areas. Of these 20 new stores, at least five new stores will be in the Panhandle region in counties affected by Hurricane Michael within one year of the closing date; and
- Disaster Recovery Commitment: T-Mobile/Sprint will expand network hardening in Florida, doubling the number of available back-up generators within the state to at least 70 percent of sites within three years of the closing date.
For each of the above commitments, T-Mobile/Sprint will provide the Office of the Attorney General with copies of any Florida-specific results and data produced as part of the merger’s FCC or DOJ reporting obligations under its national commitments.