AT&T expects to divest some markets to get T-Mobile deal approved

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| March 30, 2011

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Ever since AT&T announced that it would be acquiring T-Mobile, the company has been pretty confident that the deal would be approved by the government, despite a growing opposition. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson touched on the deal a bit more in a recent interview, explaining that he believes that the merger will improve coverage and speed up the build-out of next-gen broadband networks. In order to get the deal done, Stephenson said that he expects that ATT will need to divest some markets. Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead has said that his carrier may be interested in grabbing some of those divestitures, claims The Wall Street Journal. Finally, the AT&T exec responded to some of the deal's detractors: "This industry is anything but a duopoly," Stephenson said. "The industry is intensely competitive now, and will be intensely competitive after the deal."

We've been expecting that AT&T will have to make some concessions to get their T-Mobile acquisition approved, so it'll be interesting to see how many markets ATT ends up divesting and what happens to those markets. It wouldn't surprise me to see Verizon scoop some of them up, although it'd be nice to see Sprint grab some, too. As for Stephenson's claims that the industry will be "intensely competitive" after an AT&T-Mobile deal, I'm sure Sprint would argue that it's kind of tough to imagine an extremely competitive market in which nearly 80 percent of consumers belong to two companies. What do you all think of Stephenson's claims?

Via PhoneScoop, The Wall Street Journal