T-Mobile-Sprint $26B deal: CEOs call FCC chair open-minded

The CEOs of T-Mobile and Sprint told FOX Business on Monday that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai promises a fair review of the proposed $26 billion merger of the two telecom companies.

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“He’s going to keep an open mind,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said during an interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman on Monday.

Sources at the Department of Justice told FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino that the T-Mobile and Sprint merger is less problematic than the AT&T-Time Warner deal because of the benefits to consumers.

“We have thought about this tremendously,” Legere said on the “Countdown to the Closing Bell” program. “We are highly competent. We didn’t go presell this deal, so Charlie is having conversations that we haven’t had yet.”

T-Mobile and Sprint announced on Sunday plans for a merger creating the second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure told Claman that combining the two companies will provide the best opportunity for bringing a 5G network to wireless customers.

“There’s no better time for us to come together because the opportunity is now, and we gotta do it fast,” Claure said. Legere said the U.S. is falling behind China and South Korea when it comes to the development of 5G.

“The 5G investment and the creation of a deep and broad network, we couldn’t do separately,” he said.  “Nobody else is doing it, and the country significantly needs it.”

The Sprint CEO said its rival Verizon should be “very nervous” because as a combined company, T-Mobile and Sprint have the ability to build the most advanced 5G network at a lower cost for consumers.

The combined company will be called T-Mobile and is expected to bring in $6 billion in annual cost savings and $40 billion in investments to its network and business.