Earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission narrowly-approved the proposed merger between Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US, Inc., as well as an apparent side-deal with Dish Network Corp. that allows the satellite company to delay its build-out of hundreds of AWS and 700 MHz licenses. The Rural Wireless Association, Inc. vociferously disapproves of the Commission’s decision to approve this deal, which has been consistently and drastically altered from what was originally proposed in early 2018, and now includes a third party Dish that has zero experience operating as a facilities-based mobile wireless carrier. Last week, RWA filed comments under the Tunney Act review process with the U.S. Department of Justice explaining the ineffectiveness of the DOJ’s Proposed Final Judgement/Consent Decree in alleviating the anticompetitive effects of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger and cited a litany of public interest harms it will inflict on rural America. The elimination of Sprint as a reliable, stand-alone provider of domestic wholesale MVNO access and nationwide roaming services, and the reliance on vastly undercapitalized newcomer Dish as the proclaimed fourth nationwide carrier fails to meet the necessary public interest standard. The focus will now turn to the 17 attorneys general and their lawsuit to block the merger. RWA remains steadfast in its support of the lawsuit filed by New York, Texas, the District of Columbia, and 14 other states to block this clearly anticompetitive deal.