MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced an agreement with T-Mobile on behalf of a 12-state coalition, resolving the state’s challenge to the company’s merger with Sprint. The settlement includes terms to protect low-income subscribers, extend access to underserved communities, and protect current T-Mobile and Sprint employees in Wisconsin. T-Mobile will reimburse Wisconsin for the costs and fees of its investigation and its litigation challenging the merger. This settlement ends the States’ litigation against T-Mobile and Sprint.
“This agreement protects jobs in Wisconsin and promotes access to affordable telecom services,” said Attorney General Kaul.
As required by the settlement, the merged company is required to:
- Make low-cost plans available in Wisconsin for at least 5 years, including a plan offering 2 GB of high-speed data at $15 per month and 5 GB of high-speed data at $25 per month;
- Extend for at least an additional two years the rate plans offered by T-Mobile pursuant to its earlier FCC commitment, ensuring Wisconsin consumers can retain T-Mobile plans held in February 2019 for a total of five years;
- Offer 100 GB of no-cost broadband internet service per year for five years and a free mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device to 10 million qualifying low-income households not currently connected to broadband nationwide, as well as the option to purchase select Wi-Fi enabled tablets at the company’s cost for each qualifying household;
- Protect Wisconsin jobs by offering all Wisconsin T-Mobile and Sprint retail employees in good standing an offer of substantially similar employment.
- Increase diversity by increasing the participation rate in its employee Diversity and Inclusion program to 60 percent participation within three years; and
- Reimburse the coalition of states up to $15 million for the costs of the investigation and litigation challenging the merger.
The states involved in this settlement were Wisconsin, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
In June 2019, a coalition of states filed a lawsuit to halt the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In February 2020, the court entered a judgment in favor of the companies. This coalition of states will not appeal the decision of the Southern District Court of New York.
Because, under Wis. Stat § 133.17(1), the Wisconsin Department of Justice has the same authority that district attorneys have when prosecuting antitrust violations, and because the agreement was reached following a court judgment without an appeal having been filed, the requirements of 2017 Wisconsin Act 369 do not apply.
A copy of the agreement can be found here.