T-Mobile sued by former Sprint authorized dealers over anti-competitive practices
T-Mobile and Sprint finally closed its merger deal in April 2020, following two years of negotiations with regulatory officials and investors. Large corporate mergers often lead to fewer available jobs and branch closures, and now (at least) four former Sprint authorized dealers are suing T-Mobile over alleged anti-competitive and predatory practices.
Several former authorized Sprint dealers have filed lawsuits against T-Mobile, with at least three requesting a trial by jury. Absolute Wireless (South Carolina), Solutions Center (Connecticut), Wireless Express (Tennessee), and Maycom (Florida) all allege that T-Mobile started reducing its number of authorized dealers after its acquisition of Sprint, causing those companies to close stores and lay off employees. T-Mobile also closed many former Sprint stores (and some T-Mobile locations) throughout 2020, since many of those stores were in close proximity to each other.
One of the companies wrote in its complaint, “Absolute Wireless brings this action to recover for T-Mobile and Sprint’s pattern and practice of predatory business practices that destroyed Absolute Wireless’s business as an authorized dealer of mobile services and products, ultimately forcing the principals of Absolute Wireless to sell their company after successfully running it for 22 years.” Absolute Wireless alleges that T-Mobile terminated its older Sprint contracts, and wouldn’t allow the company to sell products and services unless it signed “unfavorable one-sided contracts.”
Maycom said in its complaint that T-Mobile “unlawfully devastated” the company, adding, “when the dust settled, of the 63 stores that Maycom once owned, only 28 remained to be sold at a T-Mobile created depressed value, 4 were given a limited 1 year lease renewal to operate and 31 stores were shuttered by T-Mobile.”
The companies are seeking damages for lost revenue and store closures. T-Mobile has not yet publicly commented on the lawsuits, but according to docket information at Justia, T-Mobile and Sprint Solutions, Inc. have started filing the required disclosure statements.