Why Sprint Opposes the Proposed AT&T Acquisition of T-Mobile USA, and Why You Should We Care
Proposed transaction would remove competition and harm consumers everywhere.
As a T-Mobile customer, I was initially very excited by the announcement of AT&T’s proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA. The first thing that came to mind was that, now, I could finally get an iPhone without switching carriers – or so I thought. Switching carriers is exactly what I would be doing. We should all care about Sprint’s opposition to this marriage. There is only one word to describe this takeover: it’s a monopoly!
I heard Sprint CEO Dan Hesse speak in person recently at a forum held by CTIA-The Wireless Association, along with Verizon Wireless President and CEO Dan Mead, and AT&T Mobility President & CEO Ralph de la Vega. Dan Hesse was convinced that this deal would not be approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. As a wireless customer (even though I’m with T-Mobile), I felt pretty good that there was somebody out there, Sprint’s CEO, in fact, prepared to fight against AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. We have a short video of his opposition saying quote, “I do have concerns that it would stiffle innovation and put too much power in the hands of just two [carriers]“.
Verizon, which some people think is currently the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. (that honor I held by – wait for it – AT&T), is sitting on the sidelines hoping this deal will be approved. Why? Since AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers, if the deal is approved by the FCC, Sprint will now be at the mercy of Verizon’s leftover offering. Sprint will have no choice but to merge with Verizon on their terms or fall by the wayside. And then the big two would control around 95% of the market.
If Sprint decided not to give in to Verizon’s offer, AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile would create a combined company that would be almost three times the size of Sprint in terms of wireless revenue, and would entrench AT&T’s and Verizon’s duopoly, dominating control over the wireless market. Now isn’t that scary.
Everything America stands for is at risk here in the wireless industry, an industry which has sparked unprecedented levels of competition, innovation, job creation and investment for the American economy, all of which could be damaged and rendered moot in one day by this transaction.
So now I’m asking you to join me in the fight, alongside Sprint, to urge the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition. “This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it,” said Vonya McCann, Sprint Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, in a press release on March 28th. “As the first national carrier to roll out 4G services and handsets and the carrier that brought simple unlimited pricing to the marketplace, Sprint stands ready to compete in a truly dynamic marketplace. So on behalf of our customers, our industry and our country, Sprint will fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly.
And guess what, T-Mobile & AT&T? I’m with the black and yellow team this time around. Stay tuned on this one.