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Consumer Groups Hope the FCC Approves One Condition Related to T-Mobile’s Mint Acquisition

A total of four consumer advocacy groups have requested the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement a special phone unlocking condition related to T-Mobile’s intended acquisition of Mint Mobile. These four groups include Consumer Reports, Benton Institute, Open Technology Institute at New America, and Public Knowledge. 

The groups are hoping that a similar condition will be agreed upon just like Verizon’s acquisition of TracFone in 2021. They are hoping that the Un-carrier will allow all devices to be unlocked 60 days after network activation. As for devices that do not have the ability to automatically unlock after 60 days, the carriers should allow customers to manually unlock them. For those who will manually unlock their devices, the wireless provider should give “clear and easy to follow” directions to customers. 

Once T-Mobile closes its Mint acquisition, the consumer groups are hoping that this condition will take effect within 30 days. By enforcing this condition, the groups are hoping that low-income customers can switch to a new carrier without having to buy a new phone each time, which is the case with prepaid brands. As for postpaid accounts that purchase a device with the line, the agreement to pay off the phone before unlocking should continue to be upheld. 

As of this writing, T-Mobile, Ka’ena Corporation, Mint Mobile (and its affiliates) are waiting for regulatory approval to close the deal. 

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