In a not so shocking turn of events, Sprint is stepping up its efforts to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. Back in March the carrier vowed to fight the merger, and now it has gone all about by filing n official “Petition to Deny”.
- The proposed T-Mobile takeover would harm the broadband economy, competition and consumers. It would reverse two decades of successful U.S. government wireless competition policy and result in higher prices for consumers in the absence of marketplace choices.
- The proposed T-Mobile takeover would harm innovation and investment. Approval of this transaction would uniquely position the Twin Bell duopolists of AT&T and Verizon as the gatekeepers of the digital ecosystem, stifling innovation and choice in new devices and applications, and the capital markets that fund them.
- The proposed T-Mobile takeover has no public interest benefit. The transaction would do nothing to relieve AT&T’s purported spectrum congestion. AT&T is already the largest holder of licensed spectrum and unused spectrum and has simply failed to upgrade or invest sufficiently in its network. Moreover, AT&T does not need T-Mobile to expand its LTE network to reach 97 percent of all Americans, because its current spectrum holdings and network already reach approximately 97 percent of the population.
In short, Sprint really, really doesn’t want this deal to go through, and we can’t say as we blame them. Yes, this really is just about saving their own behinds, but at the same time they are right that this would basically cause a duopoly in the United States, and then the two companies could basically do anything they wanted when it came to rates, phone selection and restrictions. Sprint may have a dog in this fight, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong on some of the issues they could end up causing for consumers.
There is still a ways to go before any final decision is made on this merger, but it definitely looks like Sprint isn’t going down without a fight.
What do you think of Sprint’s reason for why this merger shouldn’t be allowed?