ICLE Chief Economist Eric Fruits Quoted on the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger in Law360

ICLE Chief Economist Eric Fruits contends that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger should be viewed as making a viable third national competitor which will only benefit consumers across the country by bolstering 5G competition in this week’s Law360 article 3 Issues That Will Control The Coming Sprint/T-Mobile Battle

Opponents claim this merger takes us from four to three national carriers. But Sprint was never a serious participant in the launch of 5G,” Fruits said in a blog post Friday. “Thus, in terms of future investment in general, and the rollout of 5G in particular, a better characterization is that this deal takes the U.S. from two to three national carriers investing to build out next-generation networks.”

Fruits said AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.’s capital expenditures “have dwarfed” the investments made by the merging companies.

“But a combined T-Mobile/Sprint would be in a far better position to make the kinds of large-scale investments necessary to develop a nationwide 5G network,” he said. “As a result, it is likely that both the urban-rural digital divide and the rich-poor digital divide will decline following the merger”.

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