The following can be attributed to Carri Bennet, RWA General Counsel.
Washington, DC – The Rural Wireless Association is dismayed that the FCC Chairman has refused to seek public input on the evolved T-Mobile/Sprint transaction which now incorporates Dish as an alleged fourth network “want to be” as the solution for fixing a host of antitrust concerns with the merger. The approach by the FCC Chairman is not at all surprising given his unprecedented outspokenness ahead of the DOJ decision. If adopted without further public comment which appears to be the case, the FCC Order will be appealed because it is arbitrary and capricious, not based on a full and complete record and is clearly partisan. The real action has already moved on to the 16 AGs lawsuit at this point anyway. You have to wonder what the Chairman is thinking here, because he appears to be handing the 16 AGs a present on a silver platter. By failing to conduct comment on a newly structured deal with Dish in the mix as an untested and unqualified fourth wireless network which DOJ states is critical to its decision, the state AGs can point to a lack of careful review of the Dish deal and demonstrate how the FCC abysmally shirked its responsibility to seek comment from the public when the proposed transaction radically shifted. The FCC is so hell bent on 5G, that it is missing the bigger picture. 5G fast does not trump careful review and scrutiny of the competitive landscape and the harm to consumers that will occur if this deal is approved.