T-Mobile Completes Merger With Sprint, Promises ‘Transformational’ 5G Network

T-Mobile today announced that it has completed its merger with Sprint, with the merged company to operate under the T-Mobile brand. Effective immediately, T-Mobile's former COO Mike Sievert will assume the role of CEO, with John Legere stepping down.


T-Mobile said it plans to focus on creating a "transformational" nationwide 5G network. Within six years, the carrier promises to provide 5G to 99 percent of the U.S. population and average 5G speeds in excess of 100 Mbps to 90 percent of the U.S. population. T-Mobile also plans to provide 90 percent of rural Americans with average 5G speeds of 50 Mbps.

The "new" T-Mobile has committed to delivering the same or better rate plans for at least three years, including access to 5G. Rate plans are not changing today.

For now, the merged company says all customers will stay with the same Sprint and T-Mobile network, stores, and service they have been using. Over time, Sprint assets will simply begin to be rebranded as T-Mobile.
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U.S. Carriers Facing $200M in Fines for Selling Customer Location Data

As expected, the United States Federal Communications Commission today proposed fines against the four major wireless carriers in the United States for improperly sharing and selling real-time customer location information without taking "reasonable measures" to protect against unauthorized access to the data.


In a statement [PDF] released today, the FCC says that T-Mobile should pay the most, while Sprint should pay the least. T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million, while the FCC wants AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to pay over $51 million, $48 million, and $12 million in fines, respectively.

The fines vary based on the length of time that each carrier sold access to its customer location information without safeguards and the number of entities to which each carrier sold access.

Along with the proposed fines, the statement from the FCC admonishes the four carriers for disclosing customer location data without authorization to third-party entities.
"American consumers take their wireless phones with them wherever they go. And information about a wireless customer's location is highly personal and sensitive. The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers' personal information. And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don't. Today, we do just that," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "This FCC will not tolerate phone companies putting Americans' privacy at risk."
All four of the major U.S. carriers sold customer geolocation information to data aggregators like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then reselling the data to third-party location-based service providers. The data was ultimately provided to law enforcement officials, bounty hunters, bail bondsman, and more.

The FCC says that though exact practices varied, each carrier relied heavily on contract-based assurances that the location-based services providers they worked with would get consent from the customer before accessing the customer's location information, which did not happen.

Carriers had "several commonsense options to impose reasonable safeguards," but ultimately "failed to take the reasonable steps needed to protect customers from unreasonable risk of unauthorized disclosure."

The fines proposed by the FCC today are not final and each carrier will be provided with an opportunity to respond and provide evidence and legal arguments before final fines are imposed.


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FCC to Propose Fining AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile $200M for Sharing Customer Location Data

The United States Federal Communication Commission is expected to propose fining AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint $200 million in total for improperly disclosing real-time customer location data, reports Reuters.


Proposed fines for the four major carriers in the United States could be announced as soon as tomorrow, and the carriers would have the chance to challenge the fines before they become final. The precise amount each company is fined could change, and could possibly increase.

The FCC in January confirmed that several wireless carriers in the U.S. violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer data that included real-time location information.

Carrier location selling practices were uncovered last year when Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile had been selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies passing the data along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC launched an investigation into the practices after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November 2019 accused the FCC of "failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers' privacy."


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T-Mobile and Sprint Aiming to Close Merger as Early as April 1

T-Mobile and Sprint are aiming to finish their merger by April 1 now that all legal issues have been resolved and regulatory approval has been granted, the two companies announced today.


In a press release, Sprint and T-Mobile announced an amended business combination agreement that has been approved by the Boards of Directors of T-Mobile and Sprint. Under the terms of the amendment, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom will get a slightly higher ownership stake in the new company.
A separate arrangement entered into by SoftBank Group Corp. in connection with the amendment will result in an effective exchange ratio of approximately 11.00 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share immediately following the closing of the merger, an increase from the originally agreed 9.75 shares. This is a result of SoftBank agreeing to surrender approximately 48.8 million T-Mobile shares acquired in the merger to New T-Mobile immediately following the closing of the transaction, making SoftBank's effective ratio 11.31 Sprint shares per T-Mobile share. Sprint shareholders other than SoftBank will continue to receive the original fixed exchange ratio of 0.10256 T-Mobile shares for each Sprint share, or the equivalent of approximately 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share.

Immediately following the closing, and after the surrender of shares by SoftBank, Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank are expected to hold approximately 43% and 24%, respectively, of the fully diluted New T-Mobile shares, with the remaining approximately 33% held by public shareholders.
Mike Sievert, T-Mobile COO and President (who will be CEO of the new company as of May), said that with the new agreement in place, the focus is on closing the transaction and creating the new T-Mobile company "as early as April 1, 2020."
"We are on the verge of being able to do what we've set out to do from day one - reshape a broken wireless industry and create the new standard for consumers when it comes to value, speed, quality and service. The New T-Mobile is literally going to change wireless for good and now we're almost ready to get to the fun part: bringing our teams together, building this supercharged Un-carrier and becoming the envy of the wireless industry and beyond!"
The merger between Sprint and T-Mobile was able to proceed after a judge in early February ruled that the deal could go on despite an antitrust lawsuit filed by attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia.

The states argued that combining T-Mobile and Sprint was not in the public's interest as it would reduce competition and lead to higher smartphone bills, but T-Mobile's pro-consumer efforts that spurred changes in the smartphone industry weighed in the merger's favor.

The combined company will be known as "New T-Mobile" and it will be the third largest carrier in the United States after Verizon and AT&T.

T-Mobile and Sprint have committed to building a nationwide 5G network covering 97 percent of the U.S. population in three years and 99 percent within six years. T-Mobile has promised not to raise prices for three years following the merger's completion, and plans to offer the same or better rate plans even when 5G connectivity is available.

To gain regulatory approval from the FCC, T-Mobile and Sprint were required to sell some of their assets to Dish, as the FCC wants to see Dish become the fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States.


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T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Approved, May Be Finalized as Early as April

As expected, U.S. federal judge Victor Marrero today approved T-Mobile's proposed $26 billion acquisition of Sprint, which would create a dominant third-largest carrier alongside AT&T and Verizon in the United States.


The FCC formally approved the merger in November 2019, but a group of state attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit aiming to block it. The states argued that combining the two companies was not in the public's interest, claiming that it would reduce competition and lead to higher smartphone bills.

In his decision, however, Marrero concluded that "T-Mobile has redefined itself over the past decade as a maverick that has spurred the two largest players in its industry to make numerous pro-consumer changes," referring to AT&T and Verizon, and expressed optimism that the merged company would be able to continue this successful business strategy for the foreseeable future.

Following the decision, T-Mobile has announced that it is now working with Sprint on the final steps to complete their merger to create the "New T-Mobile," noting that the deal could close as early as April 2020.

T-Mobile added that it is committed to delivering the same or better rate plans at the same or better prices for at least three years, including 5G.


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T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Expected to Receive Final Approval Tomorrow

A judge overseeing a lawsuit aiming to stop the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is planning to rule in favor of allowing the deal to go forward, reports The New York Times.

The FCC formally approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint in November 2019, but attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit aiming to block it. The states argued that combining the two companies was not in the public's interest as it would reduce competition and lead to higher smartphone bills.


Final arguments in the antitrust suit took place last month, and sources that spoke to The New York Times said that none of the parties involved have read the judge's ruling yet, so there could be conditions or restrictions attached.

Both Sprint and T-Mobile are planning to make announcements related to the merger on Tuesday, as the lawsuit was the final roadblock preventing it from moving forward. If the judge does indeed rule in favor of Sprint and T-Mobile, the newly combined company will be known as T-Mobile and it will have 100 million customers.

The two companies have committed to building a nationwide 5G network covering 97 percent of the U.S. population in three years and 99 percent within six years. They have also promised not to raise their prices for three years following the merger's completion.

Under the terms of the deal, both T-Mobile and Sprint were required to sell some of their assets to Dish, as the FCC wants to see Dish become the fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States.


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FCC: Wireless Carriers Violated Federal Law by Sharing Consumer Location Data

One or more wireless carriers violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer information like real-time data location, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed today in letters sent to Congress as part of a wireless location investigation [PDF].

As noted by Bloomberg, Pai's letter comes after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November accused the FCC of "failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers' privacy."


The accusation was referring to major wireless carriers disclosing real-time consumer location information to third-party data services, with data services then selling that sensitive info to a variety of companies without customer consent.

The location selling practices surfaced last year after Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile were selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then passing it along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC's letter confirms that one or more wireless carriers violated the law by sharing location data with third-party services, though it does not specify which carriers have done so. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all been questioned about their data selling practices in the past.

Pai says that he's committed to ensuring that carriers comply with the Communications Act and the FCC's rules, and the carriers that have been found in violation of the law could be facing fines.


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FCC Formally Approves Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday formally approved the $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The approval was the last regulatory hurdle to creating a new mobile carrier.


The FCC filing means T-Mobile and Sprint will be allowed to join together as "New T-Mobile" to become a dominant third carrier in the United States alongside Verizon and AT&T. The Department of Justice approved the merger in July.

The finalized order came after a 3-2 vote along partisan lines, with both Democrats against it. FCC boss Ajit Pai said in a statement that the merger would be good for consumers and the U.S. as a whole:
"It would bring the benefits of the next generation of wireless technology to American consumers and advance American leadership in 5G. It would help millions in rural America benefit from high-speed 5G mobile broadband service... and it would promote competition."
However, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel argued that the consolidation of the two companies would likely follow the same path as previous mergers had, leading to higher prices, fewer jobs, and poorer service for the majority of customers:
"We've all seen what happens when market concentration increases following a merger. A condensed airline industry brought us baggage fees and smaller seats, even as the price of fuel fell. A condensed pharmaceutical industry has led to a handful of drug companies raising the prices of lifesaving medications, taking advantage of those struggling with illness. There's no reason to think the mobile-phone industry will be different."
Together, the two companies have committed to building out a nationwide 5G network covering 97 percent of the U.S. population within three years and 99 percent within six years. T-Mobile and Sprint have also promised that they will not raise prices for three years following the completion of the merger.

In an attempt to ensure a competitive wireless carrier market, the FFC also wants to see Dish become the fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States. Dish has announced that it plans to deploy a 5G broadband network capable of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

In 2011, regulators blocked AT&T's attempted acquisition of T-Mobile. In 2014, they blocked an attempted merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. This past July, however, the Department of Justice approved the merger.

A number of states have filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. federal court to block the proposed transaction; that lawsuit remains on the docket and must be resolved before the merger can go forward.

T-Mobile and Sprint anticipate that the merger will be permitted to close by the end of the year. If it does go ahead, it will combine two of the four major wireless carriers in the United States, giving the new company nearly 100 million customers.


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Deals Spotlight: Sprint Offers Savings on iPhone XR, iPhone 11, 10.2-Inch iPad, and Apple Watch Series 5

Sprint is continuing to offer new and existing customers a few select iPhone and Apple Watch-related discounts this month. Below we've rounded up each of these offers and explained how you can get them, so be sure to check out each deal before they expire.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Sprint. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

iPhone XR


Sprint has an ongoing flash sale on the 64GB iPhone XR, priced at $8 per month when you sign up for an 18-month Sprint Flex lease and add a new line of service. Within two bills you'll see a bill credit of $17 per month added onto your account.


This offer will end on October 10.

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro


For the latest iPhone 11, Sprint is offering the 64GB iPhone 11 for $0 per month with eligible device trade-in, an 18-month lease, and new line activation. After this, you'll get $29.17 credited to your account every month.


The same offer can be applied to the more expensive 64GB iPhone 11 Pro and 64GB iPhone 11 Pro Max, which would end up priced at $12.50 per month and $16.67 per month, respectively.

These offers will expire on November 7.

iPhone 8


You can get the 64GB iPhone 8 for $10 per month or the iPhone 8 Plus for $14.17 per month, when you sign up for an 18-month lease and add a new line of service. Both iPhone 8 models will see a credit of $8.75 added to your bill each month, beginning within two bill cycles.


This offer will end on November 7.

10.2-Inch iPad


If you're looking to add a tablet to your Sprint account, you can get the 32GB 10.2-inch iPad for $4.17 per month once you agree to a 24-month billing agreement, add a new line on a qualifying plan, and have one active handset on your account.


At this discounted rate, the total cost of the new 7th generation iPad is reduced to $99.99. The deal is available in all three iPad colorways: Space Gray, Gold, and Silver.

This offer will end on October 24.

Apple Watch Series 5


Finally, Sprint has discounted the Apple Watch by 50 percent off this month, including the new Series 5 models. The offer requires you to sign a 24-month Installment Billing agreement, activate a new watch plan, and have one active handset on your Sprint account.


Once you meet all of these criteria, you'll see 50 percent off your cellular Apple Watch model of choice (excluding the 44mm Stainless Steel case with Milanese Loop band) via monthly bill credits. For Series 5 models, this means you can pay as low as around $10 per month for the device.

This offer will end on October 17.

Our full Deals Roundup has even more information on all of the latest Apple-related sales and bargains.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: Sprint

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Department of Justice Approves $26B Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

Following more than a year of regulatory scrutiny, the U.S. Department of Justice today announced that it has approved the $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, although with several conditions attached.


T-Mobile and Sprint will join together as "New T-Mobile" to become a dominant third carrier in the United States alongside Verizon and AT&T. Together, the companies have committed to building out a nationwide 5G network covering 97 percent of the U.S. population within three years and 99 percent within six years.

T-Mobile and Sprint earlier promised that they will not raise prices for three years following the completion of the merger.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest a substantial package of assets to Dish Network, including Sprint's prepaid subsidiaries Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile and some 800MHz spectrum. Dish will also gain access to at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.

The deal paves the way for Dish to become the fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States, ensuring a competitive landscape. Dish has announced that it plans to deploy a 5G broadband network capable of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai:
I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint. The commitments made to the FCC by T-Mobile and Sprint to deploy a 5G network that would cover 99% of the American people, along with the measures outlined in the Department's consent decree, will advance U.S. leadership in 5G and protect competition.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere:
The T-Mobile and Sprint merger we announced last April will create a bigger and bolder competitor than ever before -- one that will deliver the most transformative 5G network in the country, lower prices, better quality, unmatched value and thousands of jobs, while unlocking an unprecedented $43B net present value in synergies. We are pleased that our previously announced target synergies, profitability and long-term cash generation have not changed.
The merger remains subject to remaining regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions. Additionally, a number of states filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. federal court in June to block the proposed transaction; that lawsuit remains on the docket and must be resolved before the merger can go forward.

Regardless, T-Mobile and Sprint expect to receive final federal regulatory approval in the third quarter of 2019 and anticipate that the merger will be permitted to close by the end of the year.


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