Sprint officially voices its opposition to the AT&T/T-Mobile dealAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has already said that his company plans to fight the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, and today Sprint's official statement on the matter has been released. In it, the nation's No. 3 carrier spends no time beating around the bush, saying simply that a combined AT&T/T-Mobile would undo the decades of growth, modernization, and competition that we see in the wireless industry today. If the merger does take place, AT&T-Mobile and Verizon would control the overwhelming majority of the U.S. post-paid market which, Sprint says, would give them "unprecedented control" of the market. You can find the full statement from Sprint below.
There's no question that Sprint has made some good points, especially when they point out how much control over pricing, backhaul, and products AT&T and Verizon would have if the merger is approved. Of course, with AT&T promising to spread LTE coverage to 95 percent of the U.S., including rural areas, the government may be willing to push the deal through after making AT&T agree to a few concessions. Which side do you stand on when it comes to the AT&T-Mobile merger? Are you opposed to it like Sprint or do you think the improved reception and more widespread LTE will make the deal worth it?
Sprint Opposes Proposed AT&T Acquisition of T-Mobile USA
Transaction would reduce competition and harm consumers
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 28, 2011 - Sprint Nextel [NYSE:S], the nation’s third largest wireless provider and a leader in advanced wireless broadband technologies, announced today its opposition to AT&T’s proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA.
The transaction, which requires the approval of the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, and will likely spark a host of hearings in the U.S. Congress, would reverse nearly three decades of actions by the U.S. government and the courts that modernized and opened U.S. communications markets to competition. The wireless industry has sparked unprecedented levels of competition, innovation, job creation and investment for the American economy, all of which could be undone by this transaction.
AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers. If approved, the proposed acquisition 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 control over the wireless market. The wireless industry moving forward would be dominated overwhelmingly by two vertically integrated companies with unprecedented control over the U.S. 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 urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition,” said Vonya McCann, senior vice president, Government Affairs. “This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it. 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.”
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 49.9 million customers at the end of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.