December 13, 2018 / 3:48 PM / 6 months ago

Group forms to oppose tie-up of U.S. telecom firms T-Mobile, Sprint

The Sprint logo is displayed on a a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An array of companies and groups that have opposed T-Mobile US Inc’s TMUS.N plan to buy Sprint Corp (S.N) announced on Thursday that they had banded together, saying the deal would lead to higher prices for wireless customers and hurt rural consumers.

The group includes companies like C-Spire and DISH Network (DISH.O), the Communications Workers of America, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association and advocacy groups like Public Knowledge. In their statement, they asked the Federal Communications Commission to reject the deal.

“T-Mobile and Sprint’s vague promises to create jobs and provide better service to rural America do not meet the public interest test for approval of the merger,” said Debbie Goldman, research and telecommunications policy director, Communications Workers Association. “The data and the companies’ own track records demonstrate how the merger would hurt U.S. workers and consumers.”

T-Mobile has said that the proposed deal would likely close in the first half of 2019.

T-Mobile, majority owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE), agreed in April to buy Sprint in a $26 billion deal. The deal is currently under scrutiny by the FCC and the Department of Justice.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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