rumors persisted for months -- years, even. We reported on them as recently as
March 8: "Report:
Sprint in Talks to Acquire T-Mobile USA". Then, over the weekend, all
previous speculations and ruminations were put to rest when it was announced
that AT&T -- not Sprint -- was the most handsome suitor
for the Magenta carrier.
about now, Sprint must be feeling like the nerdy boy who's been mustering the
courage to ask out his crush -- a cheerleader, naturally, despite the pair's
evident incompatibility -- only to learn that the object of his affection had
been courted by the backup quarterback of the varsity football team over the
Sprint going to do about it? Well, in this case, it means issuing a statement
urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FCC to consider the competition.
AT&T/T-Mobile merger "would alter dramatically the structure of the
communications industry,” Sprint said in a statement cited on Ina
Fried's Mobilized blog. “AT&T and Verizon are already by
far the largest wireless providers. A combined AT&T and T-Mobile would be
almost three times the size of Sprint, the third largest wireless competitor.
approved, the merger would result in a wireless industry dominated
overwhelmingly by two vertically-integrated companies that control almost 80%
of the US wireless post-paid market, as well as the availability and price of
key inputs such as backhaul and access needed by other wireless companies to
compete,” Sprint said. “The DOJ and the FCC must decide if this transaction is
in the best interest of consumers and the US economy overall, and determine if
innovation and robust competition would be impacted adversely and by this
dramatic change in the structure of the industry.”
told Mobilized that it wasn't worried about getting
approval. “Today when you look across the top 20 markets in the country,
18 of those markets have five or more competitors, and when you look across the
entire country, the majority of the country’s markets have five or more
competitors,” AT&T President and mobile unit CEO Ralph De La Vega told Mobilized. “I
think if the criteria that has been used in the past is used against this
merger, I think the appropriate authorities will find there will still be
plenty of competition left."
Washington, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va) promised to look into the merger with
his Commerce Committee while urging regulators to "leave no stone
unturned" in their scrutiny of the merger. “With every passing day,
wireless services are becoming more and more important to the way we
communicate,” he said in a statement. “So it is absolutely essential that both
the Department of Justice and the FCC leave no stone unturned in determining
what the impact of this combination is on the American people.”
deal fails, AT&T could be stuck with a $3-billion debt to T-Mobile. It
could also be forced to hand over spectrum and other considerations, according
quote: Customer service is inferior? You do realize they're being bought by AT&T, right?
quote: Many T-Mobile people might be in for a shock though, when they find out AT&T's customer service is far worse than what they are used to, if AT&T merges them in completely rather than keeping them as a subsidiary.