It's been three years since the initial rumors of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger surfaced. Over six months ago, the companies received Department of Justice approval for the merger, having already secured FCC approval. It was not a done deal, however, as Attorneys General from fourteen states filed a suit to stop the merger, but all states except California have now approved it. As such, the companies have officially completed the merger, marking the end of the Sprint brand.
The new communication company will be known as T-Mobile, currently being referred to as "The New T-Mobile" in marketing. The service, which combines the numbers three and four US carriers, creates the new number three carrier by subscribers. The merger has taken a while because of the constant complaints of limited competition, lower innovation, and higher prices. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel argued following the FCC's approval,
We've all seen what happens when markets become more concentrated after a merger like this one. In the airline industry, it brought us baggage fees and smaller seats. In the pharmaceutical industry, it led to a handful of drug companies raising the prices of lifesaving medications. There's no reason to think this time will be different.
It's not the only time this argument has been made, but it is massively flawed logic, based on an incorrect premise. It requires the belief that Sprint is capable of surviving on its own, which it is not. The company has been in a downward spiral for years, having made poor choices like purchasing Nextel, choosing WiMAX for their initial 4G rollout, followed by acquiring RadioShack's retail space. These mistakes have consistently caused excessive costs for the company with absolutely no return on value. Without this merger, all that was going to be left of the company was going to be the assets.
The face of the company is going to be different after the merger, as well. CEO John Legere is out, and his former COO, Mike Sievert, has taken the helm. Other executive shakeups are guaranteed in the coming months, as the two brands try to create a single, cohesive management team.