The Federal Communications Commission is taking a closer look at T-Mobile’s plans to purchase Mint Mobile, the prepaid wireless carrier fronted by actor Ryan Reynolds. The agency’s requests included information about T-Mobile’s future goals for Mint Mobile, distribution plans, details on T-Mobile’s recent data and security breaches, and more.
T-Mobile said it intended to buy Ka’ena Corporation, and with it, Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile, in March. The deal is anticipated to be worth as much as $1.35 billion with a combination of 39% cash and 61% stock.
“Mint has built an incredibly successful digital direct-to-consumer business that continues to deliver for customers on the Un-carrier’s leading 5G network and now we are excited to use our scale and owners’ economics to help supercharge it – and Ultra Mobile – into the future,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said at the time.
T-Mobile acquisition of Mint could help improve the carrier’s standing in the prepaid wireless market. During its third quarter earnings call last week, T-Mobile reported 79,000 prepaid net additions, a decrease of 26,000 from 2022’s third quarter. Other companies are also making similar deals to bolster their prepaid offerings — Verizon bought Tracfone in 2021 for $7 billion, and DISH Network purchased Boost from T-Mobile in 2020 for $1.4 billion to get into the wireless business.
The carrier is already facing questions about whether it holds too much power from a spectrum front. Companies like AT&T and DISH have expressed concerns about how much radio airwave licenses T-Mobile owns. In respective filings, DISH and AT&T asked the FCC to establish a mid-band spectrum screen to limit how much spectrum any one carrier can own to ensure an even playing field for competition.
In comparison to other providers, T-Mobile has played the long game when it comes to building out a fast, reliable network. And so far, it’s paid off. We’ll likely have to wait for future earnings calls to see how the Mint acquisition impacts T-Mobile as a whole.
The FCC’s report was spotted earlier by Light Reading.