plans to gobble up smaller wireless carrier T-Mobile in order to grab
additional wireless spectrum and bolster its network performance. While the FCC
and other regulators will likely approve the deal, some in the wireless
industry and some consumer groups think that the deal is bad for consumers.
Sprint is among those vocal about the possibility that the merged AT&T and
harm the wireless market. Sprint maintains that by combining the second and
fourth largest wireless carriers you are creating a market where AT&T and
Verizon will hold 80 percent of the wireless customers. Sprint says that the
ownerships of such large parts of the wireless market would mean that pricing
and competition were harmed.
Sprint is taking its fight to Washington with the help of lobbyists.
Some think the best Sprint can hope for is to influence how much of the merged
companies have to be sold off by regulators as conditions for the deal.
“What they’re doing is way more about concessions than about any real hope of
stopping the deal,” said Timm Bechter, a telecommunications analyst at Waddell
Bechter believes that the merger approval for the AT&T and T-Mobile deal
will ultimately be granted. The reason the deal is expected t get the nod
by regulators is that AT&T has a lot of political muscle of its own and is
expected to use the merger as a way to get wireless broadband into more areas. President
Obama has been pushing for more
access to broadband and wireless is the best answer for many areas.