For the past three years, we’ve been living in a post-Sprint world. Our carrier landscape has been dominated by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile with Dish starting to bud. However, it looks like T-Mobile might be staring down the barrel of a class-action lawsuit over its large Sprint deal.
Aside from a US presidential election and a worldwide pandemic, T-Mobile buying Sprint was one of the major events that happened in 2020. The “Uncarrier” acquired Sprint from its former owner Japanese holding company SoftBank. While the purchase took place in 2020, this deal was on the cards since nearly a decade earlier.
After T-Mobile bought Sprint, the former swiftly moved to dissolve the latter and use its towers. This is what rocketed T-Mobile to having the most coverage in the US.
However, T-Mobile is facing a lawsuit over its Sprint deal
According to the report, a lawsuit was filed against the company last year by several Verizon and AT&T customers. The 41-page ruling from U.S District Judge Thomas Durkins states that this deal directly caused the rise in carrier prices across the board. This led users to pay millions of dollars more for their plans. It refers to the deal as “one of the most anti-competitive acquisitions in history.”
What do the plaintiffs want? Among the penalties, they want the deal to be undone. That’s quite the demand, and it may not be possible to fulfill.
It’s important to note that this suit is coming from the judge and not from AT&T or Verizon. Reuters reached out to AT&T and Verizon for comment, but neither company has responded. Also, SoftBank is not considered a defendant in this case. Neither SoftBank nor T-Mobile had any immediate comment.
The grounds for this case are that the deal actually hurt competition in the US carrier space. T-Mobile spent a whopping $26 billion to buy Sprint; it essentially swallowed a quarter of the US carrier market. The U.S. Justice Department actually made T-Mobile divest some of the assets to Dish. This is why this company is vying to be a major carrier.
At the moment, this deal is still in the early stages, so there’s not too much information available. More information will come out as time goes on.