WASHINGTON, DC — The planned $4.4 billion merger between telecom giants T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular portends more rate hikes for consumers based on T-Mobile’s greedy behavior after acquiring Sprint Mobile in 2020, a review from government watchdog Accountable.US found. T-Mobile blamed “inflation” for its recent rate hikes on legacy plans, a claim that flies in the face of the company’s increased profits, lavish awards to its CEO, billions of dollars in new share buybacks for wealthy investors, and dividends paid out for the first time in the company’s history. 

Federal regulators should investigate whether a worse telecom industry oligopoly will leave consumers hanging with needlessly higher rates, more deceptive practices, and poorer customer service. If recent history is any judge, T-Mobile would exploit dwindling competition under this proposed merger by price-gouging families to pad profits. T-Mobile is one of many corporations across industries that claimed to have no choice but to raise prices, only to turn around and boast higher profits and handouts to wealthy investors. Further consolidating the telecom market would only invite more of this kind of greedy behavior and eliminate incentive to provide better service."

Accountable.US Executive Director Tony Carrk


  • Since Mike Sievert became T-Mobile’s CEO in April 2020, the company has doled out over $144 million in compensation through 2023, when he was the 16th highest paid CEO and earned 521 times the median T-Mobile employee’s salary.
  • While in this role, Sievert has accused his competitors of using inflation as an excuse to “gouge” their customers, contradicting T-Mobile’s later 2024 moves to hike rates while blaming inflation.
  • Sievert boasted the company’s “enormous” amount of cash led T-Mobile to announce a $19 billion shareholder return program in Q3 2023, including its first quarterly dividend program.
  • T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint paid dividends, leading its profits to skyrocket with the company seeing its net income climb by 167% from 2020 to 2023, with T-Mobile’s net income reaching a record $8.3 billion. T-Mobile has since returned over $19.8 billion to its shareholders through a combination of stock buybacks and dividends since 2022.
  • T-Mobile has faced a litany of lawsuits since acquiring Sprint in 2020, including a class action lawsuit from Verizon and AT&T customers who argued consolidation made it possible for the carriers to raise prices, as well as a lawsuit alleging carriers falsely advertised ‘free’ phones and ‘unlimited’ plans.
  • T-Mobile’s lobbying showed an aggressive push in the lead-up to its acquisition of Sprint, with the cellular giant spending over $17.2 million from Q2 2018 to Q1 2020 while lobbying on the “proposed merger transaction between T-Mobile USA and Sprint.” Since Q3 2023, the company has also spent over $6.8 million while lobbying against legislative efforts to rein in “junk fees” charged by many industries, including the telecommunications industry.  



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