Sprint’s ties with Huawei may complicate T-Mobile merger
Congressional lawmakers want the pending Sprint–T-Mobile merger examined over the former's possible Chinese government links.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the lawmakers are concerned that Sprint is majority-owned by Japan’s SoftBank… and SoftBank has worked with Huawei, which the US government has deemed a national security threat.
It’s a rather tenuous link, but it seems the lawmakers deem it worthy of investigation.
Huawei equipment remained in use in their networks in contravention of the 2013 agreement
A draft letter is being circulated in the House by critics of the deal in pursuit of signatures. The letter will be sent to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin next week.
"Recognizing that these companies operate as subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms – one of which maintains long-standing close ties with Chinese state-influenced entities – a full and robust national security investigation is required," states the letter.
Furthermore, the letter claims Sprint violated a 2013 security agreement that required it to remove Huawei equipment from its network.
"Three years later, Sprint under the control of SoftBank, confirmed Huawei equipment remained in use in their networks in contravention of the 2013 agreement," it says.
The report arrives:
Less than a day after Telecoms reported the FCC was asked by Trump’s administration to block China Mobile from the US.
A month after the decision to ban Chinese state-owned technology giant ZTE after it violated trade bans with North Korea and Iran.
After President Donald Trump was accused of corruption by watchdog CREW over suspicious circumstances surrounding his decision to reverse the ZTE ban.
Days before the US and China are expected to announce major tariffs on each other’s goods.
Sprint and T-Mobile’s pending merger is worth $26.5 billion and would result in the combination of the third and fourth largest operators (by subscribers) in the U.S.
The companies argue the merger will accelerate their ability to deploy 5G networks in America.
Do you agree with the lawmakers that it’s worthy of investigation? Let us know in the comments.
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