T-Mobile resists extending price freeze if Sprint merger proceeds

T-Mobile CEO John Legere resisted a call to freeze consumer prices for longer than his company’s three-year pledge if the Sprint merger proceeds.

Speaking to a House Judiciary Committee, Legere responded to questions from Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) and Judiciary Committee Antitrust Chair David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who requested a price cap of more than three years.

“Why not make a price commitment for four or five years?” McBath asked.

“I will keep the pricing plans everyone has for three years,” Legere responded.

T-Mobile promised to freeze price rises for three years as part of a number of measures aimed at quelling regulators’ fears about the proposed Sprint merger.

Allowing the merger to proceed would reduce market competition in the US to just three major operators. Reduced competition often leads to less innovation, slower rollouts, and higher prices for consumers.

T-Mobile argues that merging with Sprint will speed up the development and rollout of its 5G network and put it on a more equal footing with bigger rivals AT&T and Verizon. Legere insisted “prices will go down” on their own, due to growth in wireless bandwidth.

As part of its $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner, AT&T agreed to freeze its prices for seven years. Verizon, for its part, expects 5G plans to be around $10/month higher initially.

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