Comcast (CMCSA) isn’t looking to purchase the assets that T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) want to divest in order to secure regulatory approval for their merger, according to a report by CNBC. T-Mobile and Sprint are willing to sell some of their spectrum and Sprint’s Boost Mobile prepaid brand to get past the regulatory holdup. The merger agreement was reached more than a year ago.
Although the Federal Communications Commission said that it will approve the merger, antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice have reservations about the deal. There are concerns that the merger would stifle wireless competition. Dish Network (DISH), which is also eyeing expansion into the wireless market, is opposed to the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. Dish Network thinks that the merger would dilute the competition. By agreeing to sell spectrum and divest the Boost Mobile prepaid business, T-Mobile and Sprint want to address the concerns about the merger reducing competition in the US wireless market.
Comcast added 170,000 wireless customers
In 2017, Comcast ventured into the wireless business with a service known as “Xfinity Mobile.” In 2018, Charter Communications (CHTR) launched its own wireless service known as “Spectrum Mobile.” Altice USA (ATUS), another US cable provider, is also gearing up to enter the wireless market.
Comcast could have taken advantage of the T-Mobile-Sprint divestments to pick up wireless assets to strengthen its Xfinity Mobile business. Comcast finished the first quarter with 1.4 Xfinity Mobile subscribers after it added 170,000 customers during the quarter.