WASHINGTON–The decision by the Federal Communications Commission to approve the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Metro PCS sets a worrisome precedent, telecommunications policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said Tuesday. Greenlining had urged the commission to slow down the process, consider community input, and impose conditions on the new company should it approve the merger.
“This deal has serious potential impacts on the most vulnerable communities,” said Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. “It’s worrisome that a matter of such importance was decided at the bureau level, without a vote by the full commission. We are troubled that the commission took a pass on fully evaluating a transaction that could result in inferior service quality for low-income consumers, reduce employment and franchise
opportunities, and reduce or eliminate T-Mobile’s commitments to diversity. We hope the FCC isn’t establishing a pattern of giving a free pass to future transactions that could harm communities of color and low-income communities.
“The FCC’s Wireless Transactions Bureau apparently feels that the market will address our concerns,” Chen added. “We’re not convinced that a market that is currently failing to adequately serve our communities will get better with one fewer competitor in the mix.”