AT&T is trying to buy T-Mobile USA. AT&T and Deutsche Telekom recently announced that the motion is already under way, and that if everything goes smoothly, the purchase should be complete within 12 months’ time. Many people have already put their fists in the air and started decrying the purchase, saying it’ll be bad for business in general, as well as bad for consumers. There are some out there who don’t really have a problem with it, though. For one, Verizon seems to be perfectly okay with the situation, and don’t plan on arguing the attempt from AT&T. On the flip-side though there’s Sprint, which had previously been rumored as the entity to purchase T-Mobile USA. Now that AT&T has stepped up to the plate, it’s Dan Hesse –CEO of Sprint—to voice his concerns about the potential purchase.
But, why isn’t Verizon voicing their position on this situation? Hesse is ready to say that the AT&T purchase of T-Mobile USA would “stifle innovation,” and worse, that it would give AT&T “tremendous power.” That’s all well and good, but it simply sounds like the CEO of the Now Network is an angry child, throwing a temper tantrum because he isn’t getting what he wants. Or, the bigger kid gets all the cookies, and the smaller one gets the scraps. Of course, Hesse isn’t stamping his feet or throwing his arms around. That would probably look silly in his suit and coat.
In any event, the purchase of T-Mobile USA by AT&T will be under heavy scrutiny from the big-wigs in Washington. Things like potential pricing hikes for consumers, plans, and even network bands will be put under a microscope by those who look at this kind of thing on a daily basis, and they will figure out if the purchase is in the best interest of the American people. More to the point, they’ll try to figure out if having one major GSM network is a good thing. Would that “tremendous power” be ultimately used for evil so that AT&T can raise prices unjustly?
Verizon’s CEO, Dan Mead, commented on a rumor that Verizon would be purchasing Sprint sometime in the future to combat this move by AT&T. His response? “We don’t need them.” Ouch. And I think that pretty much nails why Verizon isn’t going to protest this purchase. Because it really doesn’t bother them. Sure, AT&T will get an increase in subscribers from this purchase, but that’s not going to stop Verizon’s momentum in the mobile market. As Mead makes it perfectly clear in just four words, Verizon’s doing well, and ultimately this purchase won’t make a difference.
Dan Hesse may not be an angry child, and he could very well be right. The purchase of T-Mobile USA by AT&T could “stifle innovation,” and that would be a terrible thing for the mobile market here in the United States. Or the move could just make a lot of new subscribers happy that didn’t have great service in some parts of the country. Either way, it’s now up to the folks in Washington to figure out what’s the next best step, and we’ll all just have to wait and see who comes out on top.
What do you think about Verizon’s position on this? Do you think they should be throwing in their two cents, and perhaps even protesting the purchase of T-Mobile USA by AT&T? Or do you think Verizon’s just in a position where they don’t need to care, and Sprint should be doing more to try and stop the purchase? Let me know in the comments below.