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T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Outside lobbying groups and competitors are ramping up their attacks on T-Mobile's proposed merger with Sprint.

The big picture: Wednesday marked a key deadline for comments at the Federal Communications Commission about the merger, which would bring the number of major U.S. wireless carriers from four to three.

Details:

  • The Communication Workers of America, the union that represents many wireless industry employees, launched a website featuring their case that the merger will cost jobs.
  • A non-profit group called Consumer Choice Alliance is launching a digital campaign arguing that the deal "could give countries like Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, and Japan direct access to our networks through the use of foreign-made networking equipment and billions of foreign money." Sprint is owned by Japanese powerhouse SoftBank, which has extensive connections to Saudi Arabia.
  • Yes, but: Consumer Choice Alliance would not disclose the source of its funding to Axios.

What they're saying: Opponents used a round of reply comments at the FCC to advocate against the deal.

  • A coalition of progressive organizations, led by Public Knowledge, said in a filing that the merger would "substantially reduce competition in the wireless market and harm consumers."
  • DISH Network said in its comments that the merger would lead to higher prices for consumers.

The companies have said that the deal will help them compete in the next generation of mobile technology and boost an American wireless industry trying to keep up with Chinese players.

What’s next: The FCC continues to evaluate the deal to see whether it meets the agency’s public interest standard. The Department of Justice, which considers the effect mergers will have on competition, is also reviewing the deal.

Editor’s note: The story has been corrected to indicate a group filing reply comments is led by Public Knowledge (not Open Markets Institute).

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

In photos: Biden visits collapsed bridge in Pittsburgh

President Biden and the Mayor of Pittsburgh Ed Gainey visit the scene of the Forbes Avenue Bridge collapse over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 28, 2022. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday visited the site of the collapsed bridge in Pittsburgh.

Driving the news: "I’ve been coming to Pittsburgh a long time,” Biden said, adding that there are more bridges than any other city in the world. "And we’re going to fix them all," he said, per a White House pool reporter.