Earlier this week, FCC chair Ajit Pai announced that he would soon be asking his fellow commissioners to approve the merger of two of the four nationwide wireless carriers, T-Mobile and Sprint. After a year of deliberation, including thousands of pages of legal and economic filings by proponents and opponents and three congressional hearings, Pai has now decided that a handful of promises, made just days ago by the merging parties, puts this $26 billion transaction in the public interest. And it appears that at least two of his fellow commissioners agree with him.
Gigi Sohn(@gigibsohn) is a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy, a Benton senior fellow, and former counselor to FCC chair Tom Wheeler.
But these promises are speculative, unsubstantiated, and entirely unenforceable. For example, T-Mobile and Sprint commit to deploying a new 5G network that would cover 97 percent of Americans within three years of the closing of the deal, and 99 [...]