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Sprint CEO Dan Hesse
Hesse feels he is fighting for Sprint's survival and the industry

The biggest wireless announcement of the year was AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile that would make it the largest carrier in the U.S. While the merger is expected to get the green light by regulators, some in the industry think that the merger is bad for the industry.

Sprint is working hard to get the merger blocked and is pulling out all of the stops to accomplish its mission. Not only does Sprint think that its survival is at stake, but the company wants everyone to believe that the purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T will be disastrous for the industry and consumers. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is working to find any way possible to block the purchase from having Sprint's own engineers tell AT&T how it could increase its capacity to hiring lobbyists and courting other CEO's to stand against the deal.

Many think that the only thing Sprint can hope for is to force the FCC and other regulators to impose conditions on the purchase that would make it better for Sprint. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said, "Clearly, purely, we want to win and block the merger. This one poses real risks."

The issue for Sprint as a company is that the merged AT&T/T-Mobile carrier and Verizon could make Sprint unable to compete for new devices and on price, ultimately forcing the company out of business. Hesse has already admitted that Sprint's survival as an independent is in doubt if the purchase goes through.

Hesse continues, "The industry just won’t be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been. It’ll gum up the works when everything has to go through these two big tollbooths, one that’s called AT&T and one that’s called Verizon."

While Sprint and Hesse argue against the deal, AT&T says that the merger would be better for consumers. The purchase would allow AT&T to make more investments in networks and future technologies according to AT&T. AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said, "Their arguments about prices going up just defy economic logic. We’ve had wireless transactions multiple times over the last ten years and prices have gone one direction: they’ve gone down."

Many note that while AT&T has promised it will use the purchase to improve wireless broadband access, there is no way to force a company to stand up to promises made. The only way to enforce promises would be for the Justice Department to place conditions on the merger and if they conditions aren't met AT&T could be taken to court.

Many believe that Sprint's concerns are being heard by the decision makers.  Whether or not they are enough to block the sale remains to be seen. The FCC and Congress are grilling AT&T on the purchase looking for any possible downside to the buyout.

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RE: Is this guy for real?
By ElderTech on 6/28/2011 11:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on your situation. For individuals on a two year plan with the major carriers, for the same service, mostly no. But for families, definitely yes. The ability to add additional phones for $10, to share minutes on a plan, and in many cases to roll over unused minutes, has meant a lower cost every month. And if you consider the Walmart and other low cost plans, the cost to everyone is lower in almost all cases. Just not the cutting edge hardware available.

RE: Is this guy for real?
By tng on 6/29/2011 7:55:22 AM , Rating: 5
Having been with AT&T for a long time I can say that my first phone was $37/month. After I bought a new phone, that went up to $47/month, the next time it went to $62. Same service, virtually identical plans each time.

I can see where it might go up a little because everything does, but I have a very basic plan with a very basic phone, so tell me again how much this will save me? AT&T really has pushed the limits on this. Why should I believe them now?

RE: Is this guy for real?
By fishman on 6/29/2011 11:20:19 AM , Rating: 3
We have a plan from 2004 for two phones with 450 prime time minutes for $53/month including taxes, etc. No way could I get anything like this for less than an additional $20/month.

RE: Is this guy for real?
By JediJeb on 6/29/2011 6:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly why I am still using my V3 and on the same plan I have had since 2005.

Same thing with DirecTV, I just looked today, I can change my plan from the one I have now(which no longer actually exists) to a new one that is $0.50 higher per month, but I would be gaining a bunch of the "radio music" stations and losing several good stations I currently have so I will stick with what I have until they force me to change.

All communications companies operate the same way. They tell you the next new tech will save a ton of money, but if it does they raise your price and pocket the extra savings, win-win for the companies, not the consumers.

RE: Is this guy for real?
By Dr of crap on 6/29/2011 8:40:23 AM , Rating: 3
I can't speak to your situation or to every plan, but the only way that costs go down is with COMPETITION. T-Moblie's low prices and Sprints all in plan forced the others to offer such as well.

How you could think that plan costs would go down if the competition wasn't there is crazy.

But as posted above it's fine if you don't think about it.

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