On November 25, Nevada joined Texas as both state attorneys general announced they would leave an ongoing, multistate suit to block the merger between cell network giants T-Mobile and Sprint. So far, Mississippi, Colorado, and now Texas and Nevada have left the suit. Other states, such as Arkansas, have settled the suit with Dish Network now proposed as the fourth major carrier. The multi-state lawsuit argues that the merger would lead to higher prices and harm consumers.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced Nevada would leave the lawsuit after certain criteria were met. The settlement helped to secure jobs in Nevada and implement 5G in the state.
“With this settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint have demonstrated their commitment to preserve Nevada jobs, deploy a high-speed 5G network across the State covering 83 percent of our rural communities, and offer low-price plans,” Attorney General Ford said. “Beyond these benefits, the New T-Mobile will make a significant investment to enhance service to our Native American Tribal communities, contribute to programs that enhance opportunities for minorities, women and small businesses. Because of these commitments, I can now support a merger that will preserve Nevada jobs and benefit consumers throughout our State.”
As part of the settlement, within three years 64 percent of the state will have 5G; within six years, at least 94 percent of the general population and 83 percent of the rural population will have access. The New T-Mobile also agreed to offer new lower-priced plans, provide full broadband access for households with school children, ensure job preservation and growth, and make a $30 million charitable donation for minorities, women, small businesses, and Nevada Native American tribes.
The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger after Sprint agreed to divest its prepaid business to Dish in a $5 billion deal, which will also provide Dish with 20,000 cell sites and retail locations.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia are still in the suit to block the $26.5 billion merger. The lawsuit is led by California and New York with a trial set to begin on December 9.