Rebel Sprint Fights AT&T Empire
Sprint is likely trying to force more concessions

AT&T 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 T-Mobile would 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 & Reed.

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.

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