Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat…
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TikTok’s Latest Assault: Ripping Off American Artists and Songwriters

Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat to U.S. national security.

In recent days, we’ve witnessed in real time another emerging TikTok threat reaching the headlines:  The threat it poses to intellectual property protections, which undergird America’s status as the most artistically and musically productive and influential nation in human history.

Universal Music Group, however, has decided to stand up and fight back by removing its catalog of songs – including artists like Taylor Swift, Drake and Billie Eilish – from TikTok.

Tone-Deaf TikTok has built its aggressive worldwide empire largely on the backs of music created by American artists, as even its corporate leadership openly admits.  As TikTok’s very own…[more]

February 08, 2024 • 12:44 PM

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Home Press Room CFIF Urges FCC Approval of T-Mobile Acquisition of Mint Mobile
CFIF Urges FCC Approval of T-Mobile Acquisition of Mint Mobile Print
Wednesday, June 21 2023

June 21, 2023

Via ECFS

Ms. Marlene H. Dortch
Federal Communications Commission
45 L Street N.E.
Washington, DC 20554 

Re: Transfer of Control of Mint Mobile, LLC and UVNV, Inc. (d/b/a Ultra Mobile) to T Mobile US, Inc., GN Docket No. 23-171

Dear Ms. Dortch:

        The Center for Individual Freedom (hereinafter “CFIF”) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with over 300,000 grassroots supporters and activists across the United States.  CFIF was established in 1998 for the purpose of safeguarding and advancing Constitutional rights, as well as ensuring continued American innovation, prosperity, leadership, entrepreneurship and worldwide technological preeminence.  As a central part of that mission, CFIF advocates for public policies that advance internet, technological and broadband development most freely, effectively and efficiently.  On that basis, CFIF respectfully submits this Comment in support of the Federal Communications Commission (hereinafter “FCC”) approving the Applications for the Transfer of Control of Mint Mobile, LLC and UVNV, Inc. (d/b/a Ultra Mobile) to T-Mobile US, Inc. (hereinafter the “transaction” or “Applications”).  The transaction presents a number of benefits to consumers and competition, and should be swiftly approved.  

I. Discussion

         In our free society and market economy, reviewing regulatory bodies should presumptively respect private parties’ negotiated agreements.  Where parties demonstrate that their proposal would serve the “public interest, convenience, and necessity,”[1] regulatory bodies should not disrupt or interfere with the proposed transaction.  In the instant matter, the Applicants have easily met that burden.  

         If approved, Mint and Ultra will be able to leverage T-Mobile’s resources to become more competitive and expand to reach more consumers across the United States.[2]  Additionally, T-Mobile’s supplier relationship and distribution scale should enable Mint and Ultra to offer more competitive plans and prices.  Those benefits will in turn result in reduced costs for Mint and Ultra, which will allow the brands to grow faster with high-quality plans at more competitive prices.[3]  That virtuous economic cycle means that the transaction will enhance competition, particularly for prepaid wireless options.  Consumers benefit from that virtuous cycle of competition, because it strengthens the incentives for market participants to reduce prices and increase the quality of available service plans.  

         Moreover, the transaction at issue will not only increase competition in absolute terms, but also bring competition to markets that T-Mobile might not otherwise enter as readily or at all.  

         For example, Mint has specialized in developing an online distribution platform that creates less friction for consumers than traditional methods of service delivery.  Mint’s online option could therefore serve consumers living in remote areas that have fewer retail outlets.  Mint’s support for online purchases of SIM cards and digital customer support could also offer individuals in underserved areas better access to mobile services and more competitive choices.  Ultra’s third-party retailers can likewise increase consumer access to wireless services and devices because the transaction would enable T-Mobile to take advantage of these retail locations, including Walmart, which has some 4,700 stores in the United States.[4]  Many of those Walmart stores and other third-party retailer locations where Ultra products are sold are located in remote areas, so those third-party locations will allow T-Mobile to offer more consumers competitive choices than possible through their network of stores alone.  

II. Conclusion

Accordingly, the Acquisitions easily meet the FCC’s “public interest” standard.  First, the transaction will lower the costs Mint and Ultra need to operate their business.  Second, the transaction will enable these brands to grow faster and reach more consumers across the United States, enhancing competition.  For these and the other reasons set forth herein, CFIF urges the FCC to swiftly approve the proposed transactions. 

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffery L. Mazzella
President
Timothy H. Lee, Esq.
Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs
CENTER FOR INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
3050 Chain Bridge Rd.
Suite 200
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(703) 535-5836
 
 

[1]           47 U.S.C. § 310(d).
[2]           See Applications Filed for the Transfer of Control of Mint Mobile, LLC and UVNV, Inc. (d/b/a Ultra Mobile) to T-Mobile US, Inc., GN Docket No. 23-171, Public Notice, DA 23-429 (rel. May 22, 2023).
[3]            See Letter from Nancy Victory, Counsel to T-Mobile US, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 23-171, Att. B at 5 (June 5, 2023).
[4]           See id. Att. B at 4.
 
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