Feb. 6 (UPI) -- T-Mobile has promised federal regulators it won't raise rates on customers for three years if its $26 billion merger with Sprint is allowed to go through.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been trying to quiet critics of the merger since announcing the deal last April. Opponents say the merger of two of the top four wireless providers will shrink competition and naturally lead to higher prices.
"Critics of our merger, largely employed by Big Telco and Big Cable, have principally argued that we are going to raise rates right after the merger closes," Legere wrote in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission this week. "I want to reiterate, unequivocally, that new T-Mobile rates are NOT going to go up. Rather, our merger will ensure that American consumers will pay less and get more.
"To remove any remaining doubt or concerns ... T-Mobile today is submitting to the commission a commitment that I stand behind -- a commitment that new T-Mobile will make available the same or better rate plans for our services as those offered today."
The merger is geared to allow the combined companies to challenge AT&T and Verizon as 5G technology comes online. The technology aims for super-fast connections 100 times faster than 4G speeds, and better network responsiveness.
The U.S. House Energy & Commerce and Judiciary committees have scheduled a Feb. 13 joint hearing to talk about the T-Mobile-Sprint impact on consumers, employees and the wireless industry.
In December, the Committee on Foreign Investment, the body that reviews foreign investments for national security threats, and several Cabinet-level departments all agreed to the merger.
Approval was a critical hurdle, with company ties to Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei, which has been accused of espionage.