Following its announcement last August, Sprint and T-Mobile have been working around the clock to get their industry-changing merger approved from all the necessary committees and departments. While things have been smooth sailing so far from the right, the merger is now being faced with new criticism on the other side of the aisle.
Per a report from The New York Times, Democratic lawmakers are taking issue with the deal between the two wireless carriers with the fear that it could bring increased prices for consumers and job losses.
The Democrats, as well as consumer advocates, say that combining the two companies would probably lead to higher prices and job cuts. The deal would reshape the wireless industry, combining the country's third- and fourth-largest wireless providers, with over 100 million subscribers, just as a new generation of cellular technology comes to market.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint executive chairman Marcelo Claure will be attending congressional hearings on Wednesday and Thursday this week. The first hearing will be led by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce with the second one coming from the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Although approval for the merger doesn't come from either of these committees (that power belongs to the Justice Department and FCC), The New York Times notes that:
A congressional hearing so late in the review process can add pressure on the agencies, or uncover new information that extends investigations.
Commenting on the concerns being raised, Democratic Representative and Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone Jr., said:
We need to understand how the merging of two of the four largest wireless carriers will affect consumer prices, American workers and competition. We also want to make sure that the F.C.C. puts consumers first as it reviews whether this merger is in the public interest.