By now, it’s no longer a secret that T-Mobile and Sprint has plans to merge with each other. Despite their announcement a few months ago, there has not yet been any development to the merger on whether or not it was approved by the FCC and DOJ.
Recently, however, there are reports that lawmakers from the Congress are keen on urging President Donald Trump to carefully examine the proposed merger between the two wireless providers. The report from Bloomberg shows that the lawmakers are worried about Sprint’s ties to the Chinese government.
In reality, Sprint does not have a direct connection to Beijing. A more clearer explanation to this is that Sprint is owned majorly by Japan’s SoftBank, which has previously worked with Huawei. The reasoning behind the lawmakers’ concerns is that the US government has identified the Chinese telecommunications company as a national security threat, alongside ZTE. These two companies have been banned by the Department of Defense (military use of Huawei devices) and the Commerce Department (trade ban on ZTE).
The lawmakers inked a letter, which read:
“Recognizing that these companies operate as subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms– one of which maintains long-standing close ties with Chinese state-influenced entities — a full and robust national security investigation is required.”
The letter was sent to Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, who is spearheading the national security review of the merger. The letter is currently making the rounds among the House of the Representatives.
The critics wrote that SoftBank is currently working with Huawei to use 5G technology to power service robots in Asia. They believe that with the merger approved, it “would increase telecommunications risks associated with third-party foreign entities, including Huawei, being utilized in the development of US 5G infrastructure.”
There has not yet been any response from Mnuchin’s part.
Source: The Verge