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tv   House Judiciary Subcommittee on T- Mobile Sprint Proposed Merger  CSPAN  March 18, 2019 5:28pm-8:01pm EDT

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declaration on bored security. you -- border security. c-span.see it live on returns, they will begin debate on the green new deal. our companion n c-span2. hill hearing l t-mobil andives from sprint. the wireless industry and consumers and also professors. this is about two and a half hours. will come tomittee order.
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ithout objection, the chair is authorized to declare recess. welcome concerning this subcommittee at the antitrust. i recognize myself for an statement. today's hearing is an important opportunity to examine the state wireless tion in the industry and the competitive sprint.of t-mobile and over the half century, there monopoly power. dominance was idely are considered to be a monopoly. it controlled more than 80% of the market. $53 billion e than in annual revenue and second-largest employer in the the d states behind only federal government. justice department had a case against at&t for
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the ing competition in telephone service and equipment market. broken upt, they were while at&t was structurely sprayed. the importance of the breakup of he bell system cannot be overstated. it fill sill stateed competition -- fill si stateed competition, services roducts and and spurred the creation of new jobs. the competitive pressure robust g from enforcement also led to the of fiber across the country. attorney sistant general of the antitrust ivision testified before the subcommittee that at&t had the country across entered the tion marked. -- she noted there was no
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for ion that the speed building the infrastructure was years and years ahead of where the uld have been in absence of the breakup of at&t. he could he competitive reforms full number smallility, consumers and businesses save billions of dollars each year while mavrick incentivized to enter the market to offer more choice. largely to a retreat from antitrust enforcement over last four decades, there are only four national carriers. his would shrink it to three national wireless carriers. he merging claims that it is necessary to deploy the next eneration of internet and to compete with at&t and verizon. t-mobile have competed with the larger
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carriers over the past decade lower prices and better policies for consumers. consolidationthat is the path forward for or easing opportunity unleashing competition. this has occurred in the absence of consolidation, not because of it. second, nearly a century of experience with telephone monopolies taught us that the of competition is critical to building out the nation's internet infrastructure improving quality for consumers. there is mounting evidence that would nal consolidation likely give the combined companies the ability to raise wages and abandon the policies that benefited consumers. under the longstanding supreme merges that nt, are ase concentration presume to be illegal.
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this will increase concentration the -- concentration in the wireless market far beyond the that will enhance market power. the wn thing preventing merging parties from raising prices are promises for a time.ed period of today's hearing is to examine oncerns related to the current stage of merger enforcement. it has been a year since they in challenged a merger court. since the beginning of the trump there has only had one significant merger, at&t's acquisition of time warner. not only did they lose this challenge, it has been mired in due to rsy from day one the president's shameful it.empts to interfere in last year there was a report that the president instructed white house officials to get this lawsuit filed against warner merger me following a series of reports
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suggesting that the president to wooeld this as a political weapon to reward perceived punish enemies. in response to this explosive i are the chairman and seeking the production of every communication and document document related to this case. we must get to whether they i a to punish enemies or reward friends. for purposes of today's hearing, proposed merger is a critical test. is the antitrust division devoted to promoting competition? this proposed merger does not in a vaum. -- vacuum. at nightering ke how they -- wondering how they be able to pay their health insurance. for too many families having as as an extra $50 in the bank
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an mean the difference between scrapping by to the next paycheck or having the heat off.ed decades of consolidation has wiped out countless small resulting in record levels of inequality. this period corporations have converted higher es into compensation fortives -- executives and made life many people.for winner said, rize we have become a rent-seeking by market inated power of large corporations and the power of workers has been not eviscerated. f every stagnant paycheck, every overpriced with hidden fees, every trip to the hospital forced to nts are risk personal and bankruptcy to receive medical
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aastronomical cable bill along with horrible customer service. are reminders that the monopolies have destroyed the american dream. read stories of billionaires yachts built like palaces and while those who fought for not have access to affordable health care. this is why democrats promised would crack down on corporate monopolies. moral crisis is a top priority for me as chairman of, and for house democrats to keep our promise to work for the mergers prevent big that would harm consumers, workers, and competition. our esteemed hank panel of witnesses for appearing before us today and i very much forward to all of your testimony. i now have the privilege of distinguished gentleman from wisconsin, the
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his opening r for statements. >> thank you. witnesses -- e welcome the witnesses where we merger of t the and sprint. i'm sorry that the chairman put spin on this proposal before we even hear the testimony from the witnesses. not made up my mind on whether this proposed merger is in the public interest or not. this hearing will shed some light on it. that i want to say don't think that antitrust questions should be partisan in whatsoever. i've been on this committee for few ars and there are very of these proposals that the committee has examined where epublicans and democrats have been divided from the get-go. t-mobile and 019,
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sprint announced a merger. $26.5 million his deal would combine the third and largest wireless providers. a could put the companies in stronger position to take on at&t and verizon which have marketplace.e if combined, they hope to mprove service, innovate networks in underserved areas. i look forward to hearing from c.e.o.'s on the implication f this merger as on the deployment of 5g. that is key to improving service coverage, higher speed and increased data capacity. we are at the forefront of this technology will provide american efits to consumers and the american
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economy and is important to many of the committee. we'll hear today from witnesses who will outline a very one that picture, paints this merger as negatively consumers.low-income many advocates believe a more wireless industry will reduce competition, raise rices, and result in job losses. under the communications act of the federal communications -- communications commission is to ensure he merger that it promotes the public interest, convenience, and necessity. u.s. department of justice and states attorneys general are pursuing a transaction. formal ngress has no role in the doj review process, this provide an opportunity to ask and debate
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questions which are of great american to consumers. and i look forward to the testimony of the witnesses and members of the committee. nd in the end, wise dis-- ecisions by doj and the f.c.c. for wireless communications in america. myield back the remainder of time. >> the chair recognizes the chair of the full committee for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate this opportunity to carefully the impact of the proposed merger of sprint t-mobile on competition, consumers and workers. the i do not prejudge merger, f any pro mowed it is clear this would usher in changes for mobile wireless services. given the fact that 95% of cellphones lts own it 20% use mobile devices,
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is critical that we closely analyze any proposed merger with wide-ranging impact. as independent companies, sprint each brought ave competitive and innovative products to market had these roubts have not only benefited their customers, but also benefited the customers of other carriers whose carriers had to compete with other companies. and t-mobile's unlimited data plans resulted in better access. these companies provided ompetitive prepaid mobile wireless plans to some of the most underserved communities. prepaid plans offer certain customers the ability to urchase wireless broadband and wireless cellphone services without passing a credit check applaud both companies for
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ingenuity. in considering the proposed merger, we must consider whether combined company with a larger share of the marketplace incentive to s innovate. i'm concerned about any merger that would increase the the market that is already highly concentrated. here are only four national wireless carriers today, at&t, sprint. t-mobile, and as a result of this transaction, here would only be three, each of which would control about one-third of the marketplace, altering amatically the competitive landscape. consequently, the combined and t-mobile may have no market-based incentives to lower prices once it becomes as large as the other two carriers. could harm other carriers's customers who have and ited from sprint t-mobile's competition over the
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past decade. concerns have been raised about impact on low-income consumers. the proposed transaction to consolidate the market for it may rvices, disproportionate negative effects on low-income households. this would be harmful in major populations ofge middle and low-being in people levels ofrienced high higher concentrations in the market for prepaid phones than other regions. a obile and sprint offer variety of support for this. the merger would supercharge the fashth for wireless competition. to better quality of the network and lead to the new products at faster speeds. moreover, they believe the merged company would be in a to compete with the other wireless giants and
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pushthe other companies to better services for their customers. the new company would expand work force and invest up to $40 billion in the first three years after the merger. to the creation of more jobs, better policies for consumers, and new competition the broadband marketplace thanks to the fastest deployment fifth generation or 5g wireless networks. network. this would be welcomed of lopments for millions employees and consumers. in light of viewed other mergers that made promises that were not borne out. that is one reason i introduced the restoring merger act legislation esigned to prohibit the mergerses to justify anti-competitive mergers. merging parties routinely anti-competitive mergers under the guise of corporate
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and -- restructuring which are code words for wide layoffs and reduced wages and benefits for employees. than create more markets, this has imperiled the financial security of american workers and consumers. a result, employers have immense power to reduce the mobility of nomic workers while consumers routinely pay higher prices for services than they would in a more competitive economy. hen combined with the precipitous decline of collective bargaining, this shrunk consolidation has inincreasedlass and being in inequality. 'm pleased that state and federal regulators are scrutinizing this transaction to etermine what impact it may have on employers -- i'm sorry
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-- on consumers and employees. i appreciate the chairman holding this hearing today so that members of the subcommittee may examine the important questions of the proposed merger raises. forward to hearing from our large panel of expert itnesses, including the c.e.o.'s of t-mobile and sprint. for their them participation including those rearranged their schedules. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the chairman. as chairman i ask unanimous consent a statement by the gentleman ber, the collins.rgia, mr. >> without objection. our first witness is the chief financial officer at t mobile granted an award by yale
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he his time at t-mobile -- c.e.o. at . business development at at&t. a bachelor degrees rom the university of massachusetts and attended masters d received his of business administration and completed harvard business school. the executive chairman of the sprint corporation. as sprint'se served chief executive officer and he softbank group international. he was named a young global one of 42 individuals from the accounting corporation immigrants.he great he received his b.s. in finance from bentley universiti. our third witness is the president of the communication
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america, christopher c.w.a. , he worked with since 1988. c.w.a.'s national staff multiple d served in positionings. mr. shelton was elected c.w.a. at their 2015.onvention in the fourth panelist is with policy and a and senior fellow public advocate. protect and d to promote competition policies that made the internet more open affordable. tom erved as counselor to wheeler during his tenure at the f.c.c. she received her b.s. from and j.d. from tom wheeler during our fifth panelist, she
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served as vice president of and general counsel at he national hispanic media coalition and with the office of international affairs. the generaltness is counsel at the rural wireless association. has represented rural wireless carriers, elephone companies, and cellular carriers before the a member of the american bar association and numerous articles on communication issues she the ved her j.d. from columbus school of law at catholic university. fellow ident and senior at the georgetown policy institute. expertise t with an in public policy, his research focuses on competition, regulation, telecommunications and technology policy.
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he is also a senior fellow at center for wn business and public policy. in eceived his b.a. economi economics. our final witness is christopher with -- s the director his research focuses on regulatory law, especially in to technology innovation and the internet. he has also taught at vanderbilt university school of law where he serves as founding director of the entertainment law program. he received his a.b. -- b.a. from harvard university. we welcome all of our distinguished witnesses and thank you for participating in hearing. if you will please z rise, i swearing you in. right hands.your -- do you swear that the
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true ony you will give is and accurate to the best of your belief. record show that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. ach of your written statements will be entered into the record in its entirety. you summarize your testimony within five minutes. there is a timing light on your the light switches from green to yellow, you have a win to complete your testimony, it turns red, it signals that your five minutes have expired. keep that in mind. > thank you, chairman, ranking member and other members of the subcommittee for inviting the panel here today. to preciate the opportunity tell you about the tremendous proposed f the t-mobile and sprint merger. will the merger deliver? t will deliver a supercharged carrier which will ensure
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create ip in 5g and american jobs. first and foremost, the new sure america make wins the global 5g race. because it mportant will unlock capabilities that will fuel job creation well anything that we have seen so far. it will transform the way travel, live, work, and play. 5g means downloading a movie in econds, nearly every american business will be able to using 5g to revolutionize how they and deliver goods and services. best of all, with this benefits of 5g won't just flow to big cities. faster, provide a broader, deeper network that is truly nation wooi. consumers and businesses everywhere, including in rural america. this oncompany could do its own. second, the new t-mobile will
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scale, and pital, network to superin charge uncleeshing -- unleashing benefits for all consumers. the combined company will the t-mobile tradition spacerupting the wireless nd we will disrupt inhome broadband offering average download speeds of 100 mega bits 90% of the world's and produce a new broadband option for those who none. budget conscience customers use them st data, as many of rely on their phones as main point of access to the internet. they have the most to gain when data costs less. much-needed fer a new bridge across the digital divide. our opponents are wrong when merger will lead to higher prices.
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in fact, the opposite to true. in our ive increase network capacity and huge reductions in our costs to will enableservices the new t-mobile to win customers through lower prices services, and it is in my business plan to do just that. 'm so confident that this merger will lower prices that we committed in writing to the regulators we will make the same or better rate plans as currently offered by t-mobile or sprint for the years.hree third, this merger will be a at new us jobs creator t-mobile and across the country. our merger will be jobs positive from day one and going forward. in the first year we will have housands more employees than the stand alone companies combined. have 11,000 ill more employees. at the -- arguments and they do not make sense. any areas account for where jobs will grow like new
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customer experience centers, services, broadband and media and network build and integration. we heard this story before. they said we would cut 10,000 t-mobile merged with metro p.c.s. n fact, we expanded jobs by tens of thousands. let me tell every employee orking in our stores, each of you will be offered a new job t-mobile.ew opponents are did desperate to status quo. they know that blocking this entrench the ll big wireless carriers and cable. are terrified of the competition that a supercharged carrier will bring. have other hand, many recognized the tremendous benefits of this merger. team telecom completed their national security view and approved the transaction. 16 of 19 state regulatory commissions have completed their
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reviews and found the to be in the public interest and over 200 organizations, companies, publicly officials support the transaction. i'm particularly honored that 11 other an long and members have signed a bipartisan letter of support. us, i would t doubt simply say this. we are the uncarrier. believeement team and i in delivering on our promises and we know if we do not we will the credibility and trust of our employees. mobile will deliver for consumers, american worker, and for our country. thank you, and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman, and members of the subcommittee. an honor to be here and i'm grateful for the opportunity to speak to you. take this e to opportunity to explain why sprint's proposed merger with great for ll be american consumers, great for
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sprint employees, and more great ntly, it will be for our country. you a little bit about me. about me. little bit i'm an immigrant. -- i a little bit of money had a little bit of money and entrepreneur. after i graduated i started car andphones out of my i grew it into the largest mobile phone distribution and chain company in the world. we worked hard and had thousands all over the world. i'm proud that we made our the largest hispanic-owned company. my -- i sold my business and then became sprint c.e.o. at that time sprint was near financial ruin. lost 3, the company had over $5 billion and in the
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previous ten years sprint had $25 billion, and we had approximately $31 billion in defendant. a great -- in debt. a great company with tens of jobs across the country was at risk e began a massive transformation of the company. we worked hard from the ground up. reduced expenses through cost reductions, employee layoffs. we didn't want to, but we had to do that to save sprint. is no longer in financial dire straits, but we challenges.ious part of the success, we were unable to fix the main challenge, the quality of the network. lackuld not because of our of low band spectrum. ecause of these issues, sprint still struggles to attract many customers want a faster pace.
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customers are not willing to quality. today the u.s. wireless market become a duopoly. 93% of the cash flow. as a result, there's no way that we can invest and be able to at the same level. america and the world is at a tech lodgeal inflection point. this will change the way we connect, but sprint doesn't have the resources to build to the necessary competition against at&t and verizon. billion to east $20 $25 billion to have -- just to 5g in our limited coverage area, because we don't generate way to w, the on-line pay for this is to raise more debt. no longer be the price leader.
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he only company that can build the world's best 5g network is combination of sprint and t-mobile we committed to invest nearly $ billion over the next three ears to build the best 5g network. how can we do this? it is simple. sprint has high-capacity -- sprint has high-capacity and t-mobile has the best coverage. we can build a network covering every network, every corner of america, in urban, suburban and rural areas. spent cannot do this alone. t-mobile cannot do it either. we need each other in order to succeed. we can not take lightly the fact that america needs to lead the world in 5g. china has made it a priority to win the 5g race.
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they have invested billions of when a country has the best dollars. network with the latest technology, it brings massive economic stimulus, explosive job growth, and a new wave of entrepreneurs. america's the land of innovators and disruptors. let's keep this way. my story validates this. letting another country take it from the u.s.away will cause a repairable damage. this is the opportunity of a lifetime. we are committed to lower prices. when we merge the two companies, we will create eight times the network capacity that we would have on our own. we will have to beat at&t and verizon on prices to fill this the capacity. this makes financial sense. for business, but more importantly, it is our commitment. lastly, it is true that most mergers did not create jobs. this merger is the opposite. this is a growth story. this new company will create new jobs blue-collar and , white-collar jobs. jobs in urban, suburban, and rural america. we will need skilled network engineers construction crews, will ringter jobs we
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back from overseas and new sales reps. i cannot thank you enough for allowing me to speak today. as i mentioned, i'm grateful to this country as an american entrepreneur. i hope of this merger is approved. i look forward to answer your questions. is now recognized for five minutes. mr. shelton: representing of the, members committee, my name is chris shelton. i am the president of the communication workers of america. represent 700,000 employees in telecommunications and other industries including more than 45,000 in the wireless industry. let's tell it like it is. this merger would kill american -- depress wages and raise prices on american , consumers to enrich to foreign foreign companies,
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deutsche bank and softbank. that is economic treason. these are two of the worst companies in the united states when it comes to the treatment of workers. they ship jobs overseas and in recent years t-mobile has been charged with more labor law violations per worker than even walmart. let's talk numbers. this merger would kill american jobs. we estimate that 30,000 americans would lose their job if this merger is approved. a wall street firm estimates this merger would kill 20,000 jobs. whether you take their number or ours, you should understand that t-mobile's job creation promises are sheer fantasy. sprint and t-mobile compete for -- with each other for the same type of customers. often, low income households, which is why their stores are located near each other. sometimes right across the street. if the companies merge, chances are they would shut down one of
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the two neighboring stores most of those workers would be a job. -- be out of a job. what about people lucky enough to stay employed? the merger will drive down wages in some cases by as much as $3000 a year. employers compete for skilled labor with wages and benefits. take away competition, and the remaining companies can throttle down employees compensation while jacking up prices on consumers. both are symptoms of the same disease. too much market power. that leads me to something the -- something i hope the subcommittee and antitrust enforcement agencies will enforce. we need to include the wage and job impact when analyzing whether a merger is anti-competitive. and we need to consider the impact of collective bargaining on jobs and wages. in the last 40 years, we have seen more and more megamergers.
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corporate profits keep climbing productivity is going up. , executive compensation has skyrocketed. but workers wages have not kept , up. they have stagnated. highly concentrated markets and lack of competition are part of the reason. the weakening of unions is a powerful force to protect workers and wages is another reason for wage stagnation. as companies have gained market power through consolidation, workers have gotten weaker as a result of the war on labor. in antitrust terms, workers have lost countervailing power. together, these two factors go far to explain why wages and living standards have stagnated for u.s. workers. they help explain the dramatic increase in income inequality in the u.s., where the top 5% of americans control two thirds of our nation's wealth. the good news is that american -- america can do some thing
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about it. first, we can say no to mergers like the t-mobile-sprint transaction and preserve competition and consumer and labor markets. second, we can bring back collective bargaining as a way to protect workers, not just union members but all workers. , i have yet to hear either of these two corporate ceo's say they would remain neutral to allow employees to decide whether to unionize free from their usual bullying tactics, intimidation, and antiunion propaganda. they simply do not want workers to have a say. if anti-trust enforcement courts can take into account the consumer price impacts of a merger they should , be able to consider the impact of collective bargaining as a way to address anticompetitive effects and relevant labor markets. finally, this merger is not only bad for workers, it is a disaster for consumers.
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t-mobile and sprint are each other's closer rivals. competing aggressively in particular for lower income customers and persons of color. by eliminating this competition, economists estimate that prices will go up by 15%. while these companies trumpet the alleged benefits for rural america, their own fcc filings show that even six years after the merger, 46 million americans, largely in rural areas, would not receive the benefits of its 5g network. thank you and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. shelton. ms. sohn is now recognized for five minutes. cicilline,hairman reggae member sensenbrenner, members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to
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testify today. when i was working for chairman wheeler in 2014, executives from t-mobile, sprint, and softbank visited the fcc several times to get his thoughts on a possible merger between t-mobile and sprint. chairman wheeler did not discourage them. but he was clear that they would have a tough time showing that the merger would be -- would not be anticompetitive. a pioneer in the wireless industry, chairman wheeler had seen immense consolidation since -- from 20 -- from 2003 to 2018. beirut -- the number of companies shrunk to four. he believes strongly that reducing the number of wireless carriers would harm consumers their higher prices, correlated effects, and less innovation. the assistant attorney general for antitrust of the time agreed and said so publicly in january of 2014. later that year, after the parties abandoned the deal, chairman wheeler said foreign national wireless providers are good for american consumers. sprint has an opportunity to focus its efforts on robust competition. nothing in the intervening five
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years has altered the previous analysis that this combination would be harmful for consumers and the wireless industry. and sprint occupied vital roles in the international market. both are mavericks that forced competitors to adopt friendlier plans. t-mobile was the first to eliminate two-year contracts and provide unlimited data. others allowed subscribers to unlock their phones. companies fought with each other first bead and reliability. more importantly the companies , compete with each other. this dynamic will change if the companies are allowed to merge. with a market share similar to at&t or verizon, they would have reduced incentives to engage in competition and cooperate with those companies to increase consumer prices. one analysis found consumer price increases could be as much
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as 15%. the merging parties do not dispute that prices will rise, but argued that improvements to the service quality, no matter how small will be worth the , extra cost. that is a dicey proposition for consumers attracted to t-mobile and sprint because of their innovative prepaid services. this will have a disproportionate effect on consumers of the paid service, which tend to be lower income people of color. this merger would result in new t-mobile controlling about 43% approved markets. the market from -- for prepaid services would shrink. the merging parties recognize these price increases, but argued that they have a real -- heavily rely on smartphones for media consumption. that is quite a remarkable thing to say about consumers for whom extra $10 more per month would be an unnecessary hardship. mergers and other countries have settled consumers with price increases.
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in both cases one of the remaining carriers in the u.s., , similar concerns about higher prices and the elimination of competition moves the doj to sue to block the merger in 2011. faced with overwhelming evidence that this merger will lead to higher prices, t-mobile has twice promised the fcc not to raise prices on its rate plans for three years. the mere fact that t-mobile believes it must make this so-called pricing commitment is an admission that post merger it would not be enough competition in the wireless market to constrain prices. it also undermines the party's insistence that the merged entity would have so much capacity that it wouldn't raise prices. regardless, the pricing commitment is riddled with ambiguities and loopholes. neither the fcc or doj is capable of overseeing this type of price regulation. my written testimony argues that the purported benefits of this
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merger are speculative. in any event, would not outweigh the merger's harms. promising in-home broadband in 2024, i would love to see more competition to big cable. but in addition to being too far in the future to be relevant this promises absolutely nothing , to do with the market that is the subject of this merger. the market for national mobile wireless services. i'm a proud t-mobile customer and a fan of its ceo and its government relations team. but i'm not a fan of this merger. because the harms to consumers who value low-cost and innovative service plans far outweigh the supposed benefits. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. for fiveze ms. scurato minutes. ms. scurato: thank you for having me.
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my name is carmen's grotto and i am from a free press. with 1.4 million members across all 50 states, the district of columbia and puerto rico. we strongly oppose this merger. free press's extensive research shows the proportionate harm it would cause to low income communities and people of color who are more likely to be on the wrong side of the digital divide and more often rely on mobile phones to connect to the internet. well by organization has protective orders to assess claims, i am not a signatory. that means everything i say today is based on publicly available data. but let me be clear no matter , where we look, nothing about this deals benefits, all of which are speculative and unenforceable, offset its immediate and permanent harm. sprint and t-mobile and their pre-pain -- prepaid plans are dominant providers of mobile service for low income people. more than 30% of metro and boost
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subscribers report a yearly incomes of or less. $25,000due to structural and systemic racism, people of color are disproportionately represented in these consumer graphics. t-mobile and sprint customers are far more likely to be people of color than at&t verizon. 45% of sprint customers identified as people color. the reason members of these communities to sprint and t-mobile is clear, their plans cost less. as research confirms, these carriers compete with each other vigorously. they are each other's closest competitors. they serve price conscious customers that at&t and verizon are content and able to ignore. but t-mobile and sprint have been mavericks in taking customers from each other and from the big two carriers after the government rejected proposed mergers like this my full one. testimony touches on t-mobile's inflated 5g efficiency claims and exaggerated rumors of sprint's death used to justify
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this deal. i will focus on three facts illustrating the harm to these impacted communities. no matter how antitrust and forces define the product market, this deal would consolidate all highly concentrated markets. it would eliminate choice for customers who need to play less for essential communication services. our sec filings document how t-mobile and sprint brands compete, touting each other's innovations and exerting discipline on at&t and verizon. t-mobile and sprint both offer lower-priced options than their larger rivals. don't believe the funny math suggesting that having fewer competitors somehow strengthens competition. it would reduce choice for all lower-priced plans. that don't require customers to pass discriminatory credit checks or devices for the carrier. the merger would increase
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second, prices. in their filings, they don't even hide the likelihood that prices would go up for postpaid and prepay customers alike. their own economic models say prices will go up. t-mobile's price pledge is riddled with loopholes and does nothing to allay this concern. t-mobile announced legacy plans would continue for three years or until better plans that offer a better price or more data are made available. this mockery of a promise is made meaningless. prices will stay the same unless t-mobile decides to raise them. just as t-mobile did with its initial attempts to hide this fact the carrier gets to decide , if a more expensive plan is better for you. even if it offers more than many customers might want or need or be able to afford. third, this merger would mean massive consolidation in the wholesale wireless market. reducing wholesale supply with -- would raise costs passed along to consumers. wholesale is used by carriers
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without their networks. including most lifeline carriers to offer at resale. throughout my career, i have been a strong defender of lifeline because it helps the most vulnerable in society stay connected, providing just $9.25 a month to defray the high cost. lifeline is dependent on a well functioning wholesale market. consolidation would further widen the quality gap and non-subsidized plans. you should closely scrutinize the too good to be true claims made by these two companies. you should consider the real world impact on communities that struggle with high-priced connectivity and often find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. thank you and i look for to your questions. >> thank you. the chair recognizes ms. bennet for five minutes. ms. bennet: my name is carri i am here on behalf
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of the rural wireless association. thank you for this opportunity thisstify on the impact merger will have on rural americans. we oppose this merger. it is bad for competition and consumers, especially in rural areas who will experience fewer choices, price increases, and substandard service. it should be denied. t-mobile has had more than 20 years to build out in rural america. let's face it, t-mobile is making a lot of promises about how it will expand coverage and -- in rural america and improve service for these americans. but based on its track record, we have no reason to believe that it will do so. i will run through four areas of concern. first, roaming. roaming arrangements are important for rural americans. roaming keeps urban suburban, , and rural americans connected. sprint has historically worked with rural carriers to ensure they have robust wireless service. t-mobile has not. according to our members,
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t-mobile's roaming rates are 20 times higher than sprint. existing roaming agreements are one-sided. t-mobile will frequently go into unilateral agreements in which rural carrier subscribers can roam on t-mobile's networks with no possibility of t-mobile subscribers roaming on rural networks. t-mobile has chosen to to burn -- deprive their own customers in rural areas rather than pay the rural carrier for the access. this means that in those areas, t-mobile's customers cannot be reached and are basically off the grid. do we really want new t-mobile 100 million plus subscribers more than one third of the , market, to be denied service in rural america? second, 5g buildout enroll america. t-mobile's repeated claims about new future 5g buildout are unfounded. when it comes to 5g networks and
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potential rural applications, like precision agriculture and remote health care, low latency is a must. the facilities needed for 5g technology cannot rent -- rely on satellite and microwave due to their high latency. fiber must be employed. deploying fiber takes time and money. neither t-mobile nor sprint has expended fibers for rural america. without commitment to laying fiber in these areas, their claims of building out future 5g broadband networks ring hollow. acquiring sprint does not give new t-mobile the fire -- the fiber in needs to serve rural america with 5g or in-home broadband. disallowing the merger will allow rural customers to work with both companies to more quickly buildout broadband. third, rural completion. less than a year ago the fcc , found the t-mobile failed to correct ongoing problems with
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delivery of calls to rural consumers. in fact t-mobile admittedly , inserted false ring tones into these calls so that the caller believes the call was ringing on the other end, when it was not. aside from blatantly breaking the law, t-mobile hindered rural consumers from running their businesses, communicating critical information to family and friends, and reaching emergency service personnel. this callous behavior in an effort to save money has harmed rural americans and we believe t-mobile's distractive behavior will continue, perhaps more aggressively once its rivals sprint is eliminated. finally, false broadband mapping claims. our members have serious concerns about t-mobile's broadband maps in the fund proceeding. that fund was created to provide to mobile carriers to help better connect rural americans. to make sure it knows where
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money is needed the most, the fcc asked carriers to submit maps indicating where each carrier offers broadband coverage. according to testing done by our members, when t-mobile submitted its data the company vastly rural coverages to make its reach seem bigger than it is. when rural carriers want to test -- went to test t-mobile's claims, 95.8% of the tests showed speeds below the threshold demanded by the fcc. or no 4g broadband service at all. many of the places where t-mobile certified it had coverage, cell towers had not been put into operation. if not corrected, funding will not be available in these rural areas. as part of its public interest review the fcc must determine , where t-mobile has been honest in its dealings with the fcc. test stronglyive suggest it is not. in sum, a string of broken promises does not bode well for rural americans and this deal
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should be denied. thank you and i look forward to your questions. wallsten is now recognized. mr. wallsten: mr. cicilline, representative sensenbrenner and members of the committee thank , you for the opportunity to come here to testify on this merger. i am an economist and president and senior fellow at the technology policy institute. tpi is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that focuses on the economics of innovation. tpi takes no institutional positions so this testimony , reflect only my views. the key question when pending the merger is whether the expecting efficiencies gained from combining the third and fourth largest wireless firms outweigh the possibility that the combined firm could address competition. this merger involves more than the usual level of uncertainty because it involves a nascent technology just beginning to be deployed. because we know so little about 5g, claims regarding optimal market structure are speculative
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and difficult to evaluate. second, empirical literature evaluating 4-3 wireless mergers is inconclusive. some find the prices increase, decreased, ands some find the prices did not change. third, the uncertainty of new technology and lack of evidence that 4-3 mergers cause harm, means the government has all basis for blocking the merger. fourth, because t-mobile and sprint may -- and i just authorities may consider the effects of the merger on the groups. the companies argue that combining forces will allow them to build a higher quality 5g network. consumers attested this assertion. evaluating this claim and whether it would benefit consumers is difficult because we know little about 5g supply
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and almost nothing about demand. market with more firms may yield better outcomes. on the other hand given the , risky nature of investing in a new technology and likelihood of making mistakes, a market with fewer but stronger firms may yield better social outcomes. real-world evidence on previous 4-3 mergers show that with previous lte technology, mergers did not lead to one particular outcome. one paper that reviewed these mergers found no effect on prices. real-world experience provides little evidence more outcome is likely than another. that also means we do not have consistent evidence the merger would harm consumers or competition overall. without such evidence they have little reason to block the merger. opponents have also raised concerns about low income and wholesale consumers. the horizontal merger guidelines note that the government should consider how a merger might affect different groups of customers.
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t-mobile and sprint service about 30% of subscribers, but public data shows they serve larger shares of wholesale and low income subscribers. they overlap but are not identical. sellities ace providers under their own brand. often prepaid and internet of things connectivity. estimates suggest that t-mobile and sprint provide more than half of the wholesale connections. their annual report show increasing numbers of wholesale subscribers. low income subscribers probably rely disproportionately on prepaid plans, but not all networkslans rely on and not all wholesale network-based plans are prepared. they are related but different. one survey suggest that t-mobile and sprint directly serve almost half of consumers with annual incomes of less than $50,000. the true number is probably higher when considering wholesale.
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holding more than 50% is not butssarily a problem, antitrust authorities who presumably have access to the actual data should study these segments carefully and evaluate whether some adjustments may be necessary. the government can do a lot to promote competition. the fcc should continue making flexible use of spectrum .vailable and remove obstacles worldnot know what the 5g will look like. that is the future of innovation. without evidence that the merger will likely lead to better outcomes, there is little reason for the government to oppose it. it should carefully consider low income segments where they have a strong presence. thank you for your time. happy to answer your questions. >> thank you, i now recognize mr. yoo. i am grateful for the
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opportunity to testify here today at the subcommittee's request, my remarks will focus on the proposed merger's likely impact on rural consumers. the key to my analysis the growth and demand for wireless broadband and need for wireless spectrum. it can be divided into three different types. low band, mid-band and high band. each operates at a different frequency and serves a different role. low band spectrum is typically defined as those bands found below one gigahertz. low band signals propagate well usually reaching a distance of miles. low band is more able to penetrate buildings and does not require direct line of sight. mid-band spectrum consists of bands from one to six gigahertz. they typically cover a range of four miles and require line of sight transmission, but can penetrate buildings. high band spectrum includes more than 20 gigahertz that have been
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long regarded as unusable, but are now unlocked by improvement of technology. the range of high band is limited. typically propagating roughly half a mile. high band spectrum requires both a line of sight and does not penetrate buildings well. higher frequencies do provide more bandwidth. the deployment of 5g will depend on a mix of both low band and mid-band and high band microcells. in ruralmportant areas. the 14 mile service range and good propagation characteristics of low band spectrum makes it ideal for supporting coverage for rural areas. the problem is because low band spectrum covers such large areas, the bandwidth can be quickly exhausted. the shortages can be addressed by low term spectrum. because additional bandwidth for -- much ofed the additional low band spectrum would be wasted. the generally accepted technical solution is to meet the growing
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demand for bandwidth by adding smaller cells that rely on higher band spectrum in this the four-mile service rain targeted to be efficiently at those areas that need the bandwidth the most. only does it expand the andwidth within rural areas, using microcells to satisfy the emand generated by those clusters frees up cell capacity those who macro cell is the only option. reality rscores the that successful deployment of 5g mix of lower and higher band spectrum. spectrum to the provide 5g as a stand alone company. to four time hree result ofndwidth as a
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the weakness of the current l.t.e. network. leaves sprint in a poor position to serve rural customers. density of lation rural areas makes it unlikely geographic ited range of sprint's mid-band allow them to be viable. this merger is planning a very different strategy from those pursued by other national providers. using the 600 mega to use the low-band maximum to provide the 5g service.or the hey will able to convert it by redeveloping the software. do not need and spectrum assignments while they are following a strategy relying
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on high-band spectrum which has ot yet been allocated by the f.c.c. 5grint's inability to provide explains why a bipartisan group as supported the transaction and makes it a respected advocate for rural consumers national range and attorneys general for new mexico the merger.porting i find that particularly meaningful. i'll be happy to answer any questions you have. >> thank you very much. proceed under the five minute rule with the questions and begin with the gentleman georgia, mr. johnson for five minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. thank the panelists for being here today. after the -mobile-sprint merger was announced, nine t-mobile executives checked into trump hotel.
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is that correct? >> thank you, congressman, for the question. we announced our deal on 30, we , and on april came to washington for two hings, one was to meet the f.c.c. and doj and the second quarterly unce our earnings. mr. johnson: i understand there coming, but the next day nine executives checked the trump hotel after the announcement, correct? >> yes, sir. importantly, if i might add. i made the decision. 'm a long-time trump hotel stayer. mr. johnson: okay. but the company had not paid for two nights at trump hotel prior to the announcement, correct? >> sir, the trump hotel was about a xistence for
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mr. johnson: the bottom line is that only -- that had been paid for by t-mobile prior to the announcement, correct? d.c., not trump -- ting other hotels mr. johnson: because i'm running out of time now. announcement, $195,000 has been spent by hotel e at trump washington, is that true? that number is approximately true. -- do nson: now, prior see how that looks? n other words, you don't spend
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any money at trump hotel and merger, you spend $195,000 at trump hotel. that night.'s not mr. johnson: i'm saying over the months you spent $195,000. optics of rstand the that, of what it looks like? like what's happening to hat t-mobile is trying curry favor with the white house. occur to you that members of the public, members of congress, the fcc and president occur thatlf, did it we would all see that an attempt by accept ans by n
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donald trump?by > i'm 100% sure this will be judged by doj and fcc. mr. johnson: i'm talking about of what happened. changed.ptics hasn't mr. johnson: it doesn't pass the smell test with the american public. it looks like you're trying to purchase influence. a looks like it could be violation of the amol ewements a clause of the united states. trump know if the campaign or the trump attempted to has contact the justice department to talk about this merger? i have no information of that at all. johnson: has t-mobile had
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any discussions with the trump trump ation or the campaign or the trump approving ion about this merger? >> i have not, and i'm -- i'm in any discussions by my organization. company on: your contracts with broadband providers, isn't that true? understand your question. r. johnson: the rural wireless association contracts with sprint and t-mobile for the use towers when rural roaming, ustomers are is that correct? expired but the witness may answer. >> that's right. and those contracts will soon be expiring with those rural carriers, is that correct? that is incorrect.
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ost of the contracts are in different -- in different time lengths. mr. johnson: thank you. chair recognizes mr. sesenbrenner for five minutes. employees t-mobile stay when they come to washington really has no whatsoever to whether or not this proposed the public interest or is not. let me say, i'm kind of embarrassed, you know, sitting here listening to the gentleman of question,s line particularly since the fcc is an agency.dent it is not a part of the dministration, and the commissioners of the fcc are independently based upon the data and the information and the testimony to them.resented
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now, you know, having said that, will ou know, i certainly stand up for the independence of the fcc and these other agencies, let's get down to whether this merger is in the public interest or not. the two to ask c.e.o.'s, particularly mr. ledger. committee for is as long as i've been in congress, which is 40 years. questions, antitrust up know, including the mixed at&t at&t divestiture, but i have conclusion that european countries tend to put whether a is on company is too big for competition, where as here we on what's best for the consumer. o, obviously, going from four
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to three may stifle competition, t may not, but that's not what american antitrust law's been about. so anybody that talks about 4-3 like that in ings europe, it is an entirely different law, and we ought to that.ze so, you know, i'd like cleary to say mr. oft can consumers expect out this? and you say that prices will as covered speed -- coverage, speed, and capacity to improve. in some ways it kind of looks mutually exclusive. that you get a better product pay less for you know, it seems to me that might deal one with the economics of scale and, two, allow each of the partners of the merger will be from the nefit
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strengths of the other and get they'veses that they have -- weaknesses that they have. c.e.o.'s answer that in the two minutes i have left? >> thank you, sir. transaction will provide a capability that the united states desperately needs. be invested by coming together with of these two companies. usually fearful. airlines are used many times u.s. airlines have less fees, and in er this case prices will go down, expand, in-home competition, rural competition will expand and jobs will go up. what is good of for consumers happens in this transaction. what all tell me
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these things have to do with where you stay when you come to d.c.? >> they don't, sir. >> thank you. portraynk a good way to this is we tried to compare this merger to others. never been a merger in wireless by mixing two companies because of the unique spectrum, create more capacity. when you have anything that you by eight he capacity times, we have an economic interest to basically fill that capacity. and the only way the american move, at&t and ver viceon chers -- verizon customers will move is by this. of the business plan to lower prices to fill capacity which is eight times of what we have if we were stand
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alone. and the reason why that is holding arespectrum able, when put together, create eight times the capacity. back.ield >> i now recognize the from washington. >> thank you to our panelists for being here today. have been following this proposed merger closely because t-mobile is outside of my the workers many of are in my district, and i know, mr. ledger, you have requested a meeting with my office, and we ave reached out and hope to do so next week. i do want to say to the gentleman from wisconsin that is actually reason as to what happened at the trump hotel because it has been clear from bit of reporting that president trump appears to have himself in the we -time warner merger, and want to mack sure that that --
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make sure that that is not happening today. refer to the letter that senator warner and i sent and thank you for your very prompt response to that letter. let me run through this quickly give you a chance to give me quick answers on this because i want to turn to the content of american peopler after this. in 2015, you had a public dispute with mr. trump regarding the quality of trump hotels with you saying, i'm so to wake up in a hotel where every single item isn't and all the books and t.v. is not about him. correct? correct.s >> in august 2017, though, you id stay at mr. trump's washington, d.c. hotel, correct? >> that's correct, and many times in between as well. >> and then last april i announced the merger, it was -- april, you announced the it was once between then
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and april when you announced the merger and you knew that the merger could not go forward and you he approval stayed there one time according to the letter you sent me between august an april. is that -- and april? is that correct? >> yes. to return to son washington. >> thank you. >> and the very day after the announced, you and were of our top executives on a list of v.i.p. arrivals at hotel?ump >> i'm not aware of that. according to a "washington post" article that has the details of that. question is, how much did hotel.le spend at the can you tell me the number? $194,000 out of $1 million spent at hotels in d.c. >> i appreciate you have a big
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budget an travel around and this in the tively small grand scheme of things. however, were you at all at the d that staying trump hotel so soon after the again ement and, according to my reporting, you cory -- you have cory? >> every consultant we hired is disclosed and we hired turnbury, an organization yated has been aquill with, but did not hire cory directly. to stay at the trump hotel was my decision and where i chose hotels. >> except in 2015, you said you never stay there. i only raise this because we, unfortunately, have a situation not the president has disclosed his business interest, nd so when he has business
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interest, and it appears that you might be trying to influence the president to get involved in something that he really should not be involved in, that causes concern for this committee, the judiciary committee. just tern -- me and -- and i would say if you want this to be judged on the of the merger, we would expect there would be concern anything that might shed a light of impropriety on the merits of the merger. to the merger itself. there are four big companies in space, vermunication 33, sprint has 14%. mr. ledger, and i think actually of you testified that critics that say prices will go jobs will be lost are wrong. fcc, ed to work for the you are an expert on antitrust policy. you, is it e to ask
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your opinion that moving from four companies to three will telecommunications market more competitive? >> no, it will make it less raise tive and it will prices on consumers as the fcc shows. a lot of makes said es, as nine senators in a 19-page letter, a dynamic .e.o. is not a legal commitment. >> it is my time. just wanted to end my testimony by saying that both austria rlands and underwent mergers, both saw price increases. enter into the record warren r with senator and his response back to us. woeb. objection. mr. gates: the gentleman lady washington talked about how
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important this merger is but remaining 50 the seconds of her time to ask about the substance of the merger she wanted to go into would like.ou i have stayed i will never stay quinta, but i have stayed there since. robot as a proprietary arm in a bag and walked out. mr. ledger, mind, does t-mobile have any chinese existing in its hawai?, do you plan to >> t-mobile has no hawai or z.t.e., they will not be in our network now or ever. robotic arm robotic arm that ws
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spotten in -- stolen in a lawsuit we filed with hauwi, and we are pleased with what the government is doing to ensure the safety around huwai. do your members contain huwai equipment? >> yes, about 25%. hey did it because they had universal service funds to spend. a y were trying to look for low-cost economical way to spend the money and they did deploy in 2010 and 2011. >> for the sake of costs, your huwai and z.t.e. parts? does huwai sit on your board? a nonvoting capacity, our as no influence over public policy committee or board. use me of your members
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towers d have tours -- near military facilities. is that correct? >> i believe that is correct, yes. >> as we move to 5g how will you huwai equipment and how o you plan to address the security concerns? >> we plan to do what the federal government says that we do to the extent that it needs to be replaced, we plan to replace it. we will need funding to do that and we have been in iscussions with members of congress, the fcc about how to without harming rural americans by having them have no access to public safety by putting the equipment out of -- out of order. mr. ledger, will t-mobile be requesting any additional government assistance to your plan to not use z.t.e. r-cost huwai and
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equipment? >> no. we even offered to play a role wireless al association it help them use some of our pricing power to purchase alternative equipment. so, as i understand it, some of the rural providers oppose the merger. the merger were to take would be more connectivity would result in not z.t.e. as much huwai and and you won't require any governmental assistance? >> right. and the existence in their concerns >> i seek to enter into the article entitled versus rural america. without objection. >> i come from north florida and ave been dealing with the
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aftermath of hurricane michael. i have seen in the trips we have bipartisan trips, in cities where they have 5g echnology have amazing capabilities in the event of disasters, especially for those hospitals. homes an can you speak to how 5g will help local communities respond disasters? >> that is a very, very important question. is a combination of power design and restoration we have y and significantly invested in those that is a core network.he t-mobile 5g in hurricane michael, the power developments we made allowed us our entire network up throughout the disaster. be an example of a 5g could save lives in disaster? > the 5g network, most importantly, is the reach and
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and the coverage that isvide the ability far more invasive. mr. chairman, thank you very much. said that 16 of 19 tate agencies have approve the transaction. but i know they are still -- here are still ongoing investigations. are those 16 agencies that cited as having approve the merge he are they responsible for determining if violates antitrust law? is it related to the question justice e fcc and the department? >> yes, when the p.u.c., the commissions and the state public commissions are not s merger, they looking at the wireless mobile market. they looking?
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>> at they looking at the small line capacity. >> state antitrust principles? >> that's correct. not look at the main event in this merger, which is wireless market. stateh all due respect to p.c.'s, the review is irrelevant. are my constituent, i think. county. in carroll >> that's correct. theou are here on behalf of rural wireless association representing 50 or more wireless right?rs, would this merger lower prices or increase prices and why? would they impact -- would -- what would n the impact be on rural areas? prices and increase the reason is because of the roaming agreements. in a rural has
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market, we oent serve the areas islands in rural america. when rural americans leave those areas to travel to cities, they to use a bigger carrier's network. in the case of sprint, my reported that the homing -- that the roaming arrangements are 20 times higher. the ear is that if agreements that are in place, some of them contrary to what they are arlier, starting to expire. renewed't automatically and t-mobile has not indicated that they will renew the agreements. said we can expect the agreements but if they are going a couple of -- expire in a couple of months, we are concerned. will have a situation where rural consumers will have good service at home with their local and use a phone there nor that service, but -- for hat service, but when they travel will have to purchase
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another phone, and it means they will have to pay for two services. respond? you >> just for the record, several times now people are referring my hat will happen to prices. i'm going to be the c.e.o. of the new t-mobile. plan taking the business to the rating agencies annual financial markets. prices are going down. also promised in the commitments that i made to the fcc. roaming standpoint we made it clear that we will honor and greements that sprint t-mobile have. we of the roaming agreements have are reciprocal. a roaming t wants zero, we will is sign it. will beof rural america covered by the new t-mobile is also which
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significantly contrary to the made. that mr. shelton >> he said that the transaction lower wages, and thousands or tens of thousands hundreds of erhaps millions of dollars lost. are you willing to make the same the worker that you are making to the customers when you say prices are going to go promising that those worker are not going to lose their jobs or do you concede that they will? thank you, sir. thank you, sir. i will have to characterize as mr. shelton said as bad assumptions, bad math. last time we were here in a hearing, mr. shelton said the wages would go down. how much it would be, he said i don't know. explain -- can you explain as a matter of economic theory, that the two businesses cross the street from each other, and you take over the other business, why doesn't it the peopleollow half
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are going to lose their jobs snshgs and there is a sprint t-mobile show in close proximity and even if we take one of the geographies, it is highly likely e will need both sets of employees, because it is foot traffic the other thing i will tell you a job to everyng t-mobile an sprint employee. we also have at sprint retail a 60% attrition rate annually and 19% attrition rate at t-mobile. is something that we can take into consideration. > could i give mr. shelton a chance to respond in fairness to him? >> your time has expired, but if wants to answer the question. [inaudible] >> as far as promising employees job, there are loopholes. when you look at what the stores 84% of them are are not d dealers who
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employees of t-mobile and who le ge promise even from that will not be kept with authorized dealers. that's some 88,000 people in the states. >> with all due respect, sir, acquired, p.c.s. was mr. shelton said we would jobs, i added 23,000 jobs. c.e.o. i added 70,000 jobs. thank you. the chair now recognizes mr. buck. will give you an extra minute if you need to since the witness on this side took an extra minute. from the d a ruling chair, if i made. i had dinner at the trump hotel ago. weeks my establishing wasn't cooked anderly, and i sent it back it was then returned cooked really well. i wondered if i have a conflict interest.
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>> i think if you're involved in a merger. can't that mean you speak at the hearing? >> i think they are saying you can't speak during the hearing now. buck is recognized. mr. buck: thank you very much. i appreciate that. mr. chairman, i'd like to introduce a letter from a is the ent of mine who .e.o. of veara wireless and rites about the effects of merger on rural broadband and how he is excited about this to work d continuing with t-mobile. mr. chairman, is there any objection? >> without objection. mr. buck: thank you. comment that between the two of you, i'm going with -mobile just because he has better shoes. i don't know if you've seen them - >> i have better glasses though. glasses. they are cool
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if they were a little pinker. two wanted to ask the gentlemen from t-mobile and sprint whether you are planning on buying more spectrum as a of this merger? sir, is yes., currently we're participating in spectrum auction as we speak, and there will be a lot more spectrum that is needed in to what we will get with the coming together of these two companies. plan on buying that from current holders of spectrum or other areas of the marketplace? the significant amount of the spectrum that we need to run this new company will come from integration of the low band, id-band and high-band spectrum that we have, but there will be a need to buy and there are we're ent option that's involved in. > and mr. -- you have -- you have made promises about pricing i'm 'm oned aring --
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wondering, based on those believe there u is any roll for any government any role for any government agency in the prices you will be setting? >> i have a business plan that has prices to clients. i have supply going up significantly. reduction in the unit cost of a gigabit of data being sold. have a huge supply and huge price capability and i committed that to the fcc in wroig for the writing for the first three years. mr. buck: i took an economics college and i immediately went into law. to nted to just ask you explain to the american public three big companies makes or better competition in the
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marketplace than two big companies and two small companies. sir.ght, and -- thank you, i think you categorized that well. amongst the ways that i look at merger is going from two to hree, and, by the way, after the number three and number four players come together, we will three ch smaller number to the economic power of at&t an verizon. makes sense is we increase supply and bring competition greatly to those other two. continue to say that we continue to ignore that lists -- e mow nop monopoly is in wireless. they added more come cast, charter. massive amount of spectrum that will come in and the phone happens to be largest pre-paid player in the market. there's more than the three from two to going
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three makes more sense than just having two. agree with that? >> 100%. we thought the u.s. market would competitive market, it is not at&t and verizon have 70% share. but what is worse is they cash l over 93% of the flow in this industry. think about it. when uld you complete you're -- how could you compete hen you are competing against two companies with 70% of every dollar. the companies, we build a better product, lower prices, cover every corner in america, and this is the first at&t and verizon will feel the competition. will be pro consumer, and benefit. will better product, lower prices. put your e two of you
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heads together to figure out the entity -- new enter this new entity would go with? you.hank >> the chairman recognizes add ler -- mr. adler. >> you looked like you wanted to question.e last >> he is talking about unit price, and he is saying that the t-mobile will give you more but on a per unit price you will same or less. so you will get faster speeds, quality, butbetter in absolute terms you're going to pay more, but on a per unit that's the word you just used. excess wo, if i hear capacity, excess capacity one my head will hink explode. om -- selled om
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the problem. carnegie owned all the the oads, he had all monopoly. he had a >> now the question i prepared. economic concentration in every of the economy has levels.historic yesterday a professor of northeastern testified before concentration competition -- there is concern about competition in large swaths of the economy. what effect has this rising employer market power and rates ng organization have on workers? >> could you answer? >> obviously it put a downward on wages, the loss of nions has put more -- probably a bigger downward spiral --
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think the unions, do you downward tration put spiral it puts increase on labor -- >> you mean decreased labor.ition for >> i'm sorry. >> is it increased? >> degree offed. i'm -- decreased. i'm sorry. >> and then the prices go down what you're saying? >> right. > and in your written testimony, you discuss t-mobile's and sprint's iolating federal labor laws, noting that t-mobile has been of more of -- subject unfair labor prak -- labor praks practices. how could this affect new engage in ability to unfair labor practices? >> they will become that much powerful.
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this sha company that has been by various courts on already doing unfair labor practices, and if they will m together e more powerful and they do everything they can to squeeze unions out. >> they have more power. have more power, hey won't have -- won't have less -- won't have less desire to do so? unions out. to keep the only way their employees have a voice is through bargaining and they don't want any part of collective bargaining. >> that won't change? >> no. >> mr. chairman, could i comment? >> i have one more question for and if we have time. in your testimony you note that proposed sprint t-mobile merger would cause farms in -- harm to low-income
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color.ities and people of why do you think they would experience harms? for the they are going to experience higher price. if you -- prices. if you look at the fcc record going ow that prices are to increase. >> they show the price will increase because of consolidation? yes, absolutely. showed that omists heir economists show that the harms will disproportionately all on lower-income subscribers. >> who? >> their own economists. > sprint an t-mobile's economists? >> dish's economists? concluded is that sprint and t-mobile's own economists that and that is in the record. intercede once.
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>> who wanted time? le ge r asked for time to respond. >> you wanted to reply to those questions? >> we are here under oath and omebody says that we have said that we're going to get higher prices. think she quoted your economists. >> correct. sure we are clear. we have made a commitment that we are going to lower prices. we went above and beyond. merger, people make a filing with the fcc. eight times the capacity which is substantial. remember one thing, we are going to lower the price -- the cost f our product by 87% of the manufacturing cost of the gig. of course we're going to lower prices.
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if any industry in the world where you lower your costs by therefore we have excess capacity and we made a commitment to have lower prices. thank you. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> i recognize the gentleman florida for a unanimous consent request. >> i seek unanimous consent to nter into the record a letter from northeast colorado cellular inc. >> woeb. >> i -- without objection. the gentlelady. >> thank you. to all here and listen of my colleagues, i guess it is for some to try to talking r when we were about american workers potentially losing their jobs of color, once again, taken ally being advantage of and persons who ive in rural communities
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potentially losing adequate coverage. struggling son i'm to -- struggling to find the humor in that. respect to my colleagues who feel like where relevant, i associate myself back to the comments originally made by my colleague from georgia, because talking about mergers that cost millions of dollars -- excuse me. dollars, or the ieve compromise or arance of compromise undue influence is relevant to this conversation. ljer, i will -- mr. ledger, you.ll start with in your testimony you said that this proposed merger would lead lower costs. it would be a tre mend whys job job or -- tremendous creator and create thousands more jobs under those circumstances when i you say and when i
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hear what about sheldon says, it me that would be a marriage made in heaven, but apparently, obviously, the workers do not feel feel that way. me that would if you would jusf you have already done it, do it because i don't see it quite yet and i'm struggling to see it. does the merger lower costs? how does it become a tremendous job creator? and how do you create and will ou create thousands of jobs that should make american workers and the unions that represent them extremely happy? but they are not. >> thank you very much. i find no humor. e are the largest provider to people of color in low income and will be. beneficiaries p of this transaction.
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rural americans will be as well. we're going to create more retail jobs, ensure customer jobs, we're going to have integration jobs and 11,000 new positions. employees 3,600 more in the first year than the two separate companies. going up.e again, mr. shelton's track when at&t tried to uy t-mobile, he predicted it would increase jobs 96,000. t-mobile bought g.t.s., it 10,000.d he would be happy if we were a union-created organization. jobs will go up every single day this new company. >> mr. shelton, would you to that, please.
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about legere is talking jobs going up. ight now t-mobile ships jobs overseas every moment of every day. tape wandering around the internet where the vice president of something is those at call centers in the philippines that a year ago were now and now there's 1,000. legere, is it an american ob creator or american job destroyer? >> an american job creator. i do have that offshore jobs. ship jobs overseas every day as he indicated? >> absolutely not. are going up significantly every day in the new t-mobile. may.f i
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when you consider that 84% of that are operated by authorized dealers, not mployees of t-mobile, but authorized dealers, and then you consider that after this merger, merger goes through, t-mobile-sprint will have twice of jobs that either at&t or verizon has, what do you hink is going to happen to those stores? >> i know exactly what i think. will you go ahead for the last few seconds? >> thank you. list the promises, wholesale access, lifeline, in-home broadband and new jobs vague l enforce the promises? assistant h the attorney general that behavioral remedies don't work, they didn't ork in the come-- comcast merger?
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who will enforce this? nobody. equipped. >> the chair recognizes the entleman from north dakota, mr. armstrong, for five minutes. about theong: we talk race to 5g, and we talked about it today. e all recognize when we're competing in this, we're competing with china. and there is no real private china, and they have a sense and a unity of purpose a country in these types of scenarios that we don't. but my question is, what does is to win the u.s. race to 5g? mean, we're talking about horm term -- short-term in jobs, but in a longer view of the economics of what this means. hat is before we get to a national security question. >> thank you very much, sir. ctia suggests from that there are three million stake with 5g t
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leadership. that being if we don't retain take leadership in this we will lose jobs. $350 billion of development and half a trillion dollars of economic impact of now the u.s. is behind china and south korea in the you say, of 5g, as heavily because the country of hina has a massive state-run budget to deploy 5g as a critical national prioriti. to dohat what we're going with the new t-mobile, the $40 enforcing development at&t and verizon to have not on small -term focus geographies, together we can lead the country to 5g and that critical position. >> when we get into this technology, it is important to $800 for a 'll pay hone but not if there is one available for $740. that is -- that is the nature of the american consumer. so when we start talking about
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where -- where these processes and those -- and the types of things, but i mean, economics tells us more capacity should relate to lower but the 5g dates are, 2024, and for , everybody in terms of dates that off.s like a long way but will we see improvement in performance and in capacity that? >> yes, the new t-mobile network median speed by 20 -- 2024240 -- of mega bits. the problem of 5g is a hundred devices and ber of imes the latency, so it is a
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transformational step. it will be ten times faster. continue to educate people about north dakota, we have the when you deal and with success stories, north dakota is it. recognize that rural america is significantly underserved. y question is -- would be, you think sprint can no longer -- nationwide as a competitor as we move to 5g? there will be a different sprint. offer 5g,or sprint to which is half of at&t's and have to overage would spend $55 billion. million in debt. we would basically have to borrow the money from the bank have to increase
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prices and only be able to offer areas.elected the promise of 5g needs to be coverage from end to end. so sprint would be a very different company. extremely relevant is today at&t and verizon again, they have before, 93% of the profit generated and the market. company, e a smaller basically the market shair of tant -- share of at&t and will grow more. so the way to make this market by allowing ive is sprint an t-mobile to merge to create one viable competitor will bring competition to america. >> thank you, and i think you probably have a longer conversation than 20 potential ut what itfalls could exist and what looks like for your current
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theomic outlook in terms of type of company you are now and now. greers >> it will make the other two companies stronger, and they dominant if that would be the case. >> thank you. gentleman. the i recognize the gentle shlady frompens -- the gentlelady pennsylvania. >> thank you. purpose of the antitrust laws is to address the corporate impact on the public. i went to talk about the proposed merger on the consumers in my district which is sousdz philadelphia -- south hiladelphia and part of montgomery county, pennsylvania. note that you're a villanova law dprad, which is -- grad, my your testimony that you submitted talks about the harm price conscience customers in
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low-being in communities and color.ities of would that also include seniors? they are the extent price-conscience customers, it would include seniors. talk about -- i'm sorry. i'm losing my place here. on page 11 ofhart your testimony that looks at percentagets and the of market held by sprint and t-mobile. can you explain the significance of that chart with respect to the philadelphia region? >> sure, absolutely. this is a percent of this -- of market that sprint an t-mobile owned as a company or hey -- or they own as a wholesale partner. so it actually shows what percentage havee market they actually in -- that that -- in that district in philadelphia. of nd so what is the impact a merger on the philadelphia have, what is it,
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46% of the market? > the impact is that the price-conscience customer doesn't have that robust between sprint and t-mobile in order to keep prices low. > is this what you would describe as a highly concentrated market? >> absolutely. understand it your system is -- your testimony is that in listening and highly that trated market elimination of choices is what tends to drive prices up? >> correct. kindly helton, you attached xibl a to your to your -- exhibit a testimony with sprint and stores and one you have highlighted is philadelphia. do you have that? does that also show there's fairly highly concentrated t-mobile coverage and retail stores there? me?xcuse
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>> does your graph, what does that indicate with respect to philadelphia region and the oncentration of t-mobile and sprint retail stores? in your he impact estimation on the merger of if the merger goes through? see viously, as you can these stores are close together in most of these places, not i said before,as 84% of all their stores are aured dealers -- and rized dealers, owned operated by authorized dealers. they are ile says going to offer a -- offer a job to employees, that doesn't mean to authorized dealers employees. when you have this many stores, at&t or verizon would have if this merger goes are gh, obviously they
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going to get rid of some of those stores and those stores re probably going to be authorized dealer stores and the employees if those stores. >> okay. thank you. so we do have these concerns about the impact on consumers could leadompetition and this could lead to less jobs. legere, how is this 4-3 merger so different than other mergers where we have the lessening ut competition? >> thank you very much for the question. i think i have tried to be very going from two to three is going to increase competition. high ies that have a concentration of share, we run nationwide advertising, we don't price particularly down to a neighborhood. lower end of the market p.c.s., put a metro
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metro p.c.s. customers had 12 in the data e usage. so the low end of the market has high beneficiary and we'd expect that to be. r. shelton talks about the authorized dealers. -- boast versions have -- it clear that we will run the businesses as we have now. e can't make job offers to employees that aren't ours, but that they ent it so all have a clear role to play every can offer jobs to person. >> i think you were looking to respond? this is not a 2-3 merger. this is a 4-3 sprint and t-mobile -- by the became t-mobile
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after the justice department locked a merger and that's why they hired this man to my right. hey have mavics, they -- mavricks, they compete not only with at&t and verizon, they other. with each as we have seen in europe. iss smaller, if -- if it is ing in smaller in europe, it will be worse in the united states. there is no rule that everybody has to say it is the same time. is an invitation to compete.ather than > can i make a comment on collude? to our next will go member. >> thank you, mr. chair. want to talk about mobile network operators.
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correct me if i'm wrong. my understanding is that sprint one of the largest providers of roaming contracts in rural america. is that a fair characterization? we provide to both. they are our customers. district that nt -- urban and rural. understand they have made a commitment to legacy rate plans for the new t-mobile in of maintaining plans for three years after the merger, am that commitment ncmo's that end to rely on sprint for wholesale service? will let mr. legere answer the new e he will run company. >> there is one in the united states and that is a company phone track
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they have something like 20 million customers many they have endorsed this merger nd sent a letter saying this merger is good for consumers. >> i understand. interrupt you. legere.give it to mr. will that price commitment xtend to that piece of the market since listening and is a huge component for folks in rural america? congressman., i will go one step further. not only will we honor the that both sprint an if will is any ncmo that has any concerns, i lock in a contract and lock in their rate for as long as they want. in that ll go down market as well especially since -- i can't think of an agreement prices went up or stayed flat. it in, ne wants to lock
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i'm your guy, and i will be out in the hallway. thank you. a questionollowup on that my friend from north dakota osed for the reason of this merger, particularly as it relates to sprint's standing in the market. you made statements previously that the path that sprint is on terms of tainable in the path forward. i think you referenced to the gentleman from north dakota that would have to be a smaller company. your haracterizing statements accurately? >> that is correct. of i'm struggling to kind reconcile is from your -- had is 31, 2019, press detailing the reports from sprint. revenue grew ice year over year for the first ime in five years, net operating income of $479
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consecutive quarter of net additions in the business market. mean those don't sound like metrics of a company that would getting smaller. it sounds like a company larger,ng and is getting and maybe you can answer that. >> sir, with all due respect, only metric that matters in business is whether the business ability to generate cash or not. read the tinued to article, sprint will have a negative $1 billion. doesn't generate free cash flow doesn't have the ability to invest. company like sprint is $40 billion in debt. if wely way to improve is borrow more money, and if we money, the only way to pay for it is to increase prices. only to the merger, the way sprint will and it is
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basically by increasing prices. finish, we do not, we are generating negative free cash flow. spend more money than money that is coming into the company. >> i will give the witness to respond. i will followup. a part of this is reconciling the statements that the company with respect to its financials with the merger.ation for the that's what i'm trying to glean from your testimony, right. and your e testimony written testimony focused on the eed to be able to make more capital developments -- investments and yet in your ress release, you talk about the fact this your investments but were reduced but nonetheless are on the rise. a lot of conversation about 5g. i ready letter that sprint new york times just yesterday essentially -- to and wide, right, far
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with respect to one of your letter ors, and in that it made clear to me that sprint, t is plan is to be the first carrier in the united states that has mobile 5g later this year. to understandying that difference between the position of the company and your far.mony so >> if you will indulge me to to the witness a chance respond. >> the gentleman's time has expired, you about the witness answer the question. 5g in a plan to deploy specific area, but we do not to offer a ability true nationwide 5g because we low-band spectrum in order to do it throughout the country. he metric that you have seen, yes, sprint has gotten better. when we started sprint in 2014, lost $5 billion. barely a company
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breaking even. the chair u, recognizes the gentlelady from georgia for five minutes. >> thank you. of thank you to awful -- all you here sharing your views on this proposed merger. today d a lot of talk about the potential effects of this deal and obviously i'm not lawyer, but it doesn't take an antitrust lawyer o see that there are real reasons to be concerned about merger might sed harm consumers and workers. robust omy relies on competition and my constituents in georgia don't need a law tell them that the difference between having four or e plans to choose from just three and you don't need an economist to it will you that a doesn't need two phone stores on the same block or if stores at one of those
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about to close, and that you need a job. as it was stated here earlier by the communication workers of america, they project that jobs would be lost due to this merger. so my question from you -- for legere, on february 4, t-mobile committed to make vailable the same or better rate plans offered by sprint for three years, so why not four or and why do we need this deal to be such a good deal for consumers? > thank you very much for the question. i'm happy to explain that. my business plan has prices time.down the whole the panel has said several times that our own modeling showed up in the first three years. that is not true. the buildout of the network years and economy economists invertd price -- inserted price pressure. was not my business plan.
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i made a commitment to the fcc, every rate plan that everybody has and keep it for three years because at the the -year point when capacity is significantly built, there is no question from the what will about happen to price. >> do you have a response to that answer? >> yes. sorry. >> i -- i want to repeat that i my testimony.n that this pricing commitment for an mited time only is admission that post merger is not going to be enough the market to retain price increases. he said i will have to make this promise, and i will get back to, promises, promises, who will promises?ese vague i will also make another point. 4th letter, ruary several people filed with the fcc showing how many loopholes pricing e in this
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commitment and t-mobile had to file an eight-page letter why this was simple and ironclad. if you're going to take eight ages to explain why this ironclad, it saint ironclad. >> thank you. promised to mobile offer new employees -- offer if affected jobs by a store closure. what type of jobs might those be and tell us from your research what kinds of jobs would those be asked to ould take? what re's no way to tell kind of jobs there might be to tell what their wages will be, there's no ay to tell where they will be working or forced to transfer to go to work. who ill have 88,000 people work for authorized dealers that haven't been promised anything, to those stores are going
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close, mark my words. >> thank you so much. i would like to yeel the rest of i would like to yield the rest of my time. the gentlewoman from georgia. opine on the to colloquy that we had earlier. >> thank you so much. so in the third-quarter of 2018, flow ofad negative cash $908 million. ofy built up a large reserve cash and they are spending it. $1.4 billion on their network in the third-quarter. that's why they had negative cash flow. the prior quarters, sprint had positive cash flow of $550 million. nobody talked about softbank. overflowing with money. in as -- it has $31 billion
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cash and cash equivalent. he vision fund has more than $90 billion in capital and there's more on the way. going to have an of the japanese mobile division and they are listing the $30 million. there's money there, it just needs to be spent. reply now? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. i will recognize myself for five minutes. so i want to start with, there's been a suggestion somehow, and i math.ood in but there is a suggestion that to three, from two which it just seems to me a silly claim. -mobile represents 18% of the market and sprint represents 14% of the market. that going from two to three nonexistent ey are players in the market. it seems that is not true. this is a substantial part of market. and so i think we need to be honest. takess a transaction that four companies and makes it
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three. and then the question is what's consumers and workers and costs from my perspective. want to start first, there's been a lot of discussion about projected impact on in terms of costs, and i take mr. legere as his word he intends to keep costs down for the first three years, but, of course, this is not just by a single individual. this is a market that will have some impact on whether that not.ens or you have shareholders you're responsible to and you can't say prices lower and we will lose money because i want to do that personally. a bunch of fiduciary duties you have and market conditions. what i want to focus on the scarata who mr. references testimony from economists that acknowledged that price ncreases are likely and that
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was referenced. i want to start with you. a seems like that was conclusion that is consistent ith other history in this sector and the reduction from three.o would you just explain a little bit about that response -- respond that -- to that and then i want to ask mr. legere to respond. cornerstone study it shows that lower-cost customers willing to pay for better service than other customers because they rely on smart phones. cornerstone of the study. conomists when looking at the study, they have predicted that significant pricing increases nd that those harms will disproportionately impact low-income consumers. to -- i applaud, ou know, both toem and sprint
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have been -- t-mobile and sprint have been scrappy, aggressive this market, and it is resulted in maybe not better at riences for workers, but least better experiences for moremers, lower costs, and choices. that's what competition is intended to promote. to understand, both in terms of your own economic conclusions of your prices are that going to go up, and what we know about competition and that less companies is less competition prices.ncreases why isn't this presumptively nti-competitive and not in the best interest of consumers, prices?n jobs, or >> thank you, mr. chairman. several things you did refer in of your comments about being a c.e.o. with a to ciary obligation shareholders. i made clear that the business lan that i have shown to share
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holers has price declines from day one down. not -- what we keep hearing here is getting credence to dish doing economic modeling. sorry. it is not dish doing it. economists, cornerstone. > one of the reasons that the fcc shop clock is currently stopped is that we provided of informationnt 21.ut the years 19 to if you would give me that chance collusion comment, which was t-mobile has done a great but it young carrier, didn't just come from hard work. e got $3 billion from the spectrum and at&t breakup. sometimes those things are required. the uncarrier brand is about verizon. to at&t and those two won't even speak to me in a dark room alone
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with them. >> i understand. our goal is not whether you can ake it to at&t or viruseson -- verizon, our goal is whether it is good for consumers, american will resultether it in more choice and lower prices. get the competition of you as the c.e.o. of the company, but that is actually not part of the equation. equation is really from my view is does it produce more more competition, lower prices? >> which it has, sir. you keep saying this three-year window. i take it that even you don't -- able to make a representation after the three years. going down.e >> forever? >> prices are going down? >> forever. >> that doesn't seem credible. ou're not going to be there forever. that's what is it worrisom to me. i don't think we can look at this and ns like
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basing an approval or disapproval on your judgment to behave in oing a certain way. eight-fold l be an increase in capacity, and the unit cost will go up, there will times more data. >> i will indulge myself for a couple of minutes. respond to this idea of -- i know in your testimony about the representations that were made by t-mobile and sprint to wall and how that should be -- you know, relied upon, but also your -- withcts if your own analysis of this and to final question mr. shelton. >> yes, thank you. seeking to merge will tell wall street that everything tell d.c. l and everything is falling apart. we talked about that mr. sprint andth i think one panelist did a good saying 2018 wags a -- was
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a banner year. illegal.ould be >> we can also talk about the 5g. of 5g, whichromise both companies have been making, specific.erger both companies have been promising premerger a nationwide 5g network. that's what they've been telling wall street. now they are going to tell you deep are, stronger, bigger, use your adjective, but what they have been telling wall street before the merger. could, mr. legere, i won't mind just finishing. to note that both -- it both ortant to note that are putting their -- that comes to the $40 billion that they talk about if this merger is consummated. point, if i could. there's so much talk about the race to 5g. well, ask at&t, ask chairman pi,
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rarely agree with and a. -- a.b.i. arch research who say that the u.s. is winning and they will be the next two years. i won't worry, mr. armstrong, the race to 5g bus these companies are -- because investing nies are boat loads of money. > company c.e.o.'s saying whatever they need to say to wall street markets is insulting. legal object dpags to -- obligation to say what is taking place. is dramatically different. >> i understand. to ink we're trying reconcile two different presentations. shelton, you mr. have made reference to the transaction on jobs, and people being
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misrepresented. when people early are represented by unions, they benefits.r wages and we don't want to just have good go family nt supporting jobs my final question would be to the impact ont is jobs? assessmentere was an done that demonstrates significant job loss and that may be as much as $543 million in losses to workers. think one of the big priorities of this committee and this congress is doing verything we can to protect good-paying american jobs, and if you could speak a little bit and i will give mr. legere an opportunity to respond. we believe there will be 30,000 jobs lost if this merger goes through. alone in that. there are some wall street firms maybe not 30,000, but
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0,000 jobs will be lost if merger goes through. $43 erger is based on synergies, which everybody knows is a way of saying job cuts, and what will stores if this merger goes through is absolutely job cuts because they able to live to be with stores across the street the each other all over country when they'll have twice he stores that at&t or verizon has. it is just not iffing to happen. -- it is just not going to happen. to believe it would happen i have a nice bridge i would like in new york. >> mr. legere. day, bad as been all assumptions, bad math. ashamed of should be himself. >> refrain from that comment. comment.h drau that
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-- i with draw that comment. award as the ery top playses to work in america, and that's because of the way we employees. our employees have the right to nionize if they choose and, in fact, one of our stores has, but found s significantly that the relationship -- you be r. legere, would willing to commit not to -- employeesh your to unionize? >> we don't interfere. our employees made the choice that they don't want to be a a union. that has always been an option. that we're to say going to fire 30,000 people. 28,000 do the math. it is absolutely impossible. number one. protecting as far as
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american workers, and it is at&t behind this to block the merger know what is going to come. intimidation, d we don't, our employees like and toechl.sprint -- t-mobile. so, i mean, that is the fact. but saying we're going to take employees, that is that is not possible. to respond? like >> they keep using the word employees. -- there is noto doubt -- there can't be any doubt in anybody's mine, they these ng to take authorized dealers and they are going to slash and burn, and american jobs that they are going to cut and they are going to cut 30,000 of those jobs, and as far as sprint and -mobile employees or at least t-mobile employees being able to
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join unions because that's what legere just said, they went as far and have been found forming a company union to stop the union from people at t-mobile, and that hasn't been done in this country since the 1930's. so that's how much they are becomingheir employees unionized. >> i'm going to ask unanimous onsent a number of letters, both in support and opposition to the merger, be made a part of record, and also a letter i member and the ranking received from free conference heard this from a number of people about whether preconference call programs will be available because i guess currently they considered out of plan with t-mobile and there's a lot of nxiety about whether in a
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merged company whether that service would be available i don't know if you are in a to answer that. >> i will follow up. provide the correspondence. thank you all. but s been a long hearing, it is informative and helpful to the committee. there is nothing else. with that, we'll adjourn the hearing, and, again, thank you to the witnesses.
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