The dichotomy between the levels of government provided murky guidance to telecommunications firms on what behavior is anticompetitive and what decisions firms will have to spend years defending. Despite T-Mobile and Sprint agreeing to sell off several subsidiaries, helping to create a new competitor, and surviving a gamut of regulatory reviews, these companies still could not merge. At this point, preventing the deal would cause irreversible harm to the merging parties.

The conflicts that arose in the T-Mobile-Sprint merger could have been solved through the preemption of collective state antitrust enforcement in the telecommunications market, which would balance the twin goals of promoting the consumer and aggregate social welfares. The telecommunications market is subject to substantial federal scrutiny and regulation, which limits competitive choices to an abnormal degree and causes the market to suffer extraordinary damage when collective states interject themselves as enforcers. Limiting state antitrust activities is not a novel concept, with a variety of studies arguing that the inefficiencies and competing interests associated with state action substantially hamper state antitrust enforcement of national markets. This Comment does not presume to redefine the antitrust system in its entirety, but narrowly applies the possibility of preempting state action to the telecommunications market.