Sprint Opposed to AT&T Buying T-Mobile
The Sprint Nextel corporation released a second statement today confirming their opposition of AT&T’s 39 billion dollar bid to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telecom. Sprint Nextel’s claim is that the deal would create a duopoly in the the telecommunications industry thus doing irrevocable harm to innovation and competition.
In a written statement today, Vonya Mcann, the senior vice president of Government Affairs for Sprint Nextel, says, “Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition. This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it.“
Move would Leave Sprint as Remote #3 US Mobile Carrier
Verizon and AT&T are currently the top two mobile providers and the deal would make AT&T the top provider with 130 million subscribers, putting Verizon Wireless in second place with 94 million. AT&T announced its arrangement to purchase T-Mobile on March 20, stating it would take 12 months to conclude. In the United States, federal regulators must approve such deals before they can go forward, with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) determining whether it is in the public interest and the DOJ (Department of Justice) examining the deals impact on competition. One option that AT&T executives have already discussed is a divestiture of assets where they would cede holdings to Sprint making this deal more palatable for the aforementioned regulators. The removal of T-Mobile from the ball game would make Sprint by far the smallest provider with 54 million subscribers.
Sprint’s CEO Dan Hess has been rather outspoken on the issue calling the deal “anti-competitive”during his keynote at the CTIA trade show last Tuesday, placing Sprint Nextel firmly in opposition of the acquisition.
T-Mobile Customers Not Pleased
I have been polling folks and attempting to gauge public opinion on the deal and so far T-Mobile customers are firmly opposed, citing concerns that it would affect data rates and customer service. It is my hope that Sprint is able to succeed in blocking the deal. It is hard to see a scenario where this will not hurt the industry as a whole. T-Mobile has a website with information regarding the merger in attempt to quell its customers concerns and answer any questions they may have. What do you think?