For the past week, the FCC has been accepting comments from the public about the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, and so far hundreds of statements have been filed into the agency’s website related to the deal.
The FCC, of course, is one of several government agencies that must sign off on the proposed merger for it to be consummated. As part of its review process, the agency accepts statements from advocacy groups and other companies, as well as from the public.
(It’s worth noting that the FCC’s public comment system has come under scrutiny following the apparent spamming of the system during the agency’s net neutrality proceeding. As Ars Technica noted, the FCC may institute a CAPTCHA system as part of a redesign of its comment system.)
But, for the meantime, proceeding 18-197 is open for business, accepting comments through Aug. 27. Oppositions to the petitions are due by Sept. 17. Replies to those pleadings are due by Oct. 9.
So what are people saying?
Below is a mostly random selection of excerpts from recent comments filed to the proceeding:
Anthony Nash: I’m for the merger. Let it happen.
Ashley Chin: I oppose allowing this merger. Decreasing competition in the telecommunications industry is really the last thing we need, and it goes against the competitive environment that allows both businesses and customers to thrive.
carter grant: they should merge to we can get ahead of china in 5G development
Anthony Gilardi: I oppose the sprint tmoble merger. we need more competition in wireless carriers not less.
David G. Miller: I oppose this merger. Having only 4 major competitors already makes wireless an oligopoly. Reducing it to 3 will discourage competition and raise rates across the board. This has been the experience in Canada when a similar merger was permitted.
Robert Morningstar: I support this merger. These two companies are inherently weaker than Verizon and AT&T. Merging them gives us 3 competitors of largely the same resources and capabilities to influence innovation and pricing to the betterment of consumers.
Raymond Robles: This merger needs to be stoped! As much as t-mobile and sprint say the prices will not increase, That is a persuasion caption because they will say that, to get it approved, once the merger is complete they can do what ever they want. Prices will go up.
Darren McGaha: I support the merger, it would help both with better coverage. Sprint especially needs help in that area, they are doing a lot of work on their network but just can not keep up. I also believe that this merger will help bringing on the newer 5G technology much faster.
Michael D Bardsley: I approve this proceeding. As a customer of T-Mobile and experiencing all the many changes over the years. They are a perfect match for sprint in every way to make a difference for the better in the cellular market.
Jonathan Cook: I oppose the combination of two of the top four wireless providers in the US. This will reduce competition and have a decidedly negative effect consumers. This is especially significant as T-Mobile has been a big disruptive force in the industry, and there is no way to know ho much of that will be lost if the merger is allowed to proceed.
Lamont Frazier: I support this merger. One of the few mergers that will spur innovation and increase competition.
Annette Naish: I believe we have already seen what happens to the consumer when the government allows corporations to become larger and larger, consumers become unable to have true options. In order to protect the ability of a consumer to have choices in service, please do not permit this purchase to continue. Thank you.
Cheryl Martin: No! Absolutely do not let this happen!! My T-mobile bill for a single mom is $278. That is more than half my rent payment for my apartment. My work depends on my ability to access the internet through my phone. Sprint is the only company that has unlimited data plan for tethering. Don't let this merger happen!
Aaron Jones: I oppose the merger. T-mobile is one the only carrier in our area with simple, affordable plans for individuals and families with decent service. The propsed merger would surely stifle competition in this and other areas.
Timothy Hoerner: I am in favor of the merger being approved. The value that the new company will provide to consumers is greater than the value of each individual company combined. The spectrum that will be available to the new company will allow them to offer consumers greater data speeds and a larger nationwide network. There is enough competition in the market that I do not believe it would be anti-competitive to allow these companies to merge.
John L. Miller: I oppose. This will increase consumer prices and stifle competition and development.
Stephen Wilson: I oppose this merger as it will reduce competition in the wireless market place to unacceptable levels. There is no value to individuals for this merger. It will hurt the consumer's ability to chose the best wireless provider. It will reduce the need for the remaining providers to compete.