HARRISBURG ― Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced a 12-state settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint that ensures consumers have affordable access to internet and phone service.
Shapiro said the settlement addresses concerns Pennsylvania and the 11 other states had with the proposed merger, and T-Mobile agrees to deliver low-cost plans, locked rates, wider services for low-income households in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, and continued employment for existing workers. The states agree not to appeal the court’s Feb. 11 decision.
“This settlement means we are bridging the gap for people who have been on the wrong side of the digital divide and they will finally have access to affordable high-speed internet. The deal we struck improves on T-Mobile’s prior commitment to the Federal Communications Commission,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “This settlement also recoups tax dollars spent to fight this merger, which was something we had to have in Pennsylvania.”
The settlement, upon the merger’s closing, requires T-Mobile to reimburse each of the 12 states for reasonable fees, costs of investigation, and litigation up to each state’s proportional share of $15 million.
The settlement’s highlights:
Low Cost Plans
- T-Mobile will offer, for at least five years, low costs plans in at least all the 12 states, including 2GB of high speed data/$15 per month and 5 GB of high speed data/$25 per month
- T-Mobile will develop rate plans that offer the same or better rate plans than it offered Feb. 4, 2019. These rates will last for five years, which is two years better than T-Mobile’s commitment to the Federal Communications Commission.
Free Mobile broadband for low-income households with school age children
- For five years, T-Mobile will offer its “Project 10 Million” program to as many as 10 million households across the country to qualifying low-income, unconnected households in the 12 states, with 100GB of no-cost broadband internet service per year and a free mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device (up to a $700 million hardware commitment nationwide) and the option to purchase select Wi-Fi-enabled tablets at the company’s expense for each qualifying household.
- All T-Mobile and Sprint retail employees in each of the 12 states in good standing as of the merger’s closing date are to receive an offer of substantially similar employment with New T-Mobile.
- Non-executive T-Mobile and Sprint employees who join DISH within one year of closing will not have to abide by the new company’s applicable non-compete agreements.
- The new T-Mobile will strive to increase the participation rate in its employee Diversity & Inclusion Program to 60 percent within three years of the transaction closing.
In addition to Attorney General Shapiro, the Attorneys General who joined in the settlement are Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin.
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