PUC Approves Application Related to Proposed Sprint/T-Mobile Merger
Published on 5/23/2019
Filed under: Telecommunications
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved an application from Sprint Communications L.P. (Sprint), seeking approval of a merger transaction that will result in Sprint’s indirect transfer of control to T-Mobile USA Inc.
Following discussion over differing proposals to address the impacts of the merger in Pennsylvania, the Commission voted 3-2 in support of a motion offered by Commissioner Andrew G. Place to approve the application.
The approval specifically references voluntary commitments offered by Sprint involving statewide deployment of 5G wireless facilities and services in Pennsylvania. These will be implemented by New T-Mobile, a wireless carrier, and will increase the availability of broadband access in rural areas of Pennsylvania in all of its 67 counties.
Additionally, as a condition of the approval, the PUC’s Bureau of Audits will conduct a review of Sprint’s financial reporting to the Commission between 2009 and 2017, based on discrepancies in Sprint’s annual financial reporting that were identified during the Commission’s review of the proposed merger transaction.
“Based on the application as it has been supplemented by the Applicant’s (Sprint’s) voluntary commitment representations, it is my opinion that there are sufficient affirmative public benefits – inclusive of the 5G wireless deployment – to approve the proposed transaction,” noted Commissioner Place in his motion.
A final Commission Order, based on Commissioner Place’s motion, will be prepared by Commission staff and served on all the parties to this proceeding including the Pennsylvania Office of Small Business Advocate, the Office of Consumer Advocate and the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement.
The Commission also considered and rejected (by a 3-2 vote) an earlier joint motion from Chairman Brown Dutrieuille and Vice Chairman David W. Sweet, which required additional “clarifications” to the voluntary commitments offered by Sprint to ensure that promised public benefits would occur in Pennsylvania.
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Docket No.: A-2018-3003259
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