WASHINGTON: U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday circulated a draft order that would grant approval to the US$26 ...
"The evidence conclusively demonstrates that this transaction will bring fast 5G wireless service to many more Americans and help close the digital divide in rural areas," Pai said in a statement.
The order must still be approved by two of the other four FCC commissioners. The U.S. Justice Department approved the merger last month, but the deal still faces a court challenge from 16 state attorneys general. A trial is set for Dec. 9 on the legal challenge by the states.
On Wednesday, Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote on Twitter she was"not convinced that removing a competitor will lead to better outcomes for consumers" and said the public should be able to comment before the commissioners vote.
The third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless companies have agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses to satellite television company Dish Network Corp to create a fourth U.S. wireless carrier. Critics, including some state attorneys general, say competition will not increase and prices for mobile phone plans will rise.
"Given the harmful impacts of this merger and the shady manner in which the FCC’s approval was reached behind closed doors, the public should have the opportunity to weigh in and comment before the full agency vote is final," Turner said in a statement.
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim praised Pai's announcement."We are now one step closer to strengthening competition for high-quality 5G networks that will benefit American consumers nationwide," he said in a statement.Read more: CNA
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