The merger of USA’s third and fourth largest carriers — T-Mobile and Sprint — has been dragging on since forever now. In April of last year, the CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, tweeted through his official Twitter handle about the merger, alongside a video of himself and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure making the announcement together. The aim of the merger, they said, was to “supercharge the Un-carrier strategy and create robust competition and lower competition across wireless, video and broadband.”
Since then, the companies have been knocking on the doors of federal agencies FCC and DOJ, not to mention 19 state public utility commissions, for their stamp of approval. After months of tediously scrutinizing over every aspect of the merger, the New York Public Service Commission has put its seal of approval on the merger, having come to the conclusion that “not expected to cause interruptions or changes in service for existing Sprint wireline customers.”
The approval comes with a list of conditions, however. First, both companies must see all contracts through to their ends. Second, T-Mobile must not shut down its call center in Syracuse. Third, the number of employees employed by the merged company must equal the sum of the employees employed by them individually, until at least a period of three years.
Fourth, T-Mobile must continue giving out job benefits to its employees post-acquisition and include Sprint employees who choose to stay post-acquisition under its umbrella of generosity.
There are still a few checkpoints left to cross, including approvals of FCC and DOJ. With the end of the journey finally in sight, T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer J. Braxton Carter has said that the deal could be sealed in the first quarter of 2019.
As the merger takes place, the New York Public Service Commission is overseeing T-Mobile’s plans to roll out 5G in New York, making sure the plan proceeds as intended and gets completed within a period of 3 to 5 years.