TELECOMS OPERATOR Sprint has said that it will oppose AT&T's plans to acquire T-Mobile USA, calling it an "anti-competitive acquisition".
AT&T announced its deal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for £24 billion ($39 billion) earlier this month, in a move that would create the largest mobile operator in the US. This has already led to one Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official to say there is "no way" the deal will be rubber stamped by the FCC and now Sprint has voiced its concerns, saying it will oppose the acquisition.
Sprint is the third largest mobile operator in the US behind Verizon and AT&T, and it claims the merger would create a company that is three times larger than itself. This, it warned that would "entrench AT&T's and Verizon's duopoly control over the wireless market".
Vonya McCann, Sprint's SVP of government affairs said, "Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition." McCann said the acquisition would "harm consumers and harm competition" and went on to say that Sprint would "fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly".
While Sprint is hardly a small company, its concerns will be echoed by many US consumers. It is hard to see how AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile USA would not further strengthen its position in the market. AT&T and T-Mobile might have agreed on the buyout but it will still be up to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FCC to give their final approvals.
By conjuring up the image of Ma Bell, the monopoly that the US government broke up in 1984, Sprint is hoping that the DOJ and FCC will take note and step back from the letting industry players recreate a telecom oligopoly again in the US. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday