It’s no secret that trying to win regulatory approval for their merger, or that they were willing to do in order to make it happen. FCC commissioners wanted , including rural and underserved communities — they got it. Then the to let another company, , become their rival. According to a new report, regulators got that, too.

I won’t call myself mystified by the DOJ’s pursuit of this concession, because I can understand the theoretical basis for preserving the U.S. cellular industry’s status quo. If Sprint’s data plan pricing was actually influencing T-Mobile’s — — merging the companies might drive prices up for standard cellular service. But to gain regulatory approval, the carriers , making this issue largely moot.

In the budget cellular market, there could

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