Surprise! Sprint denounces AT&T-Mobile deal
Still no word from Verizon
In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, Sprint Nextel has officially announced its opposition to AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile.
"Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition," the company's senior vice president for Governmental Affairs Vonya McCann said in a canned statement on Monday, adding: "This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it."
What McCann didn't explicitly say is that the party that would be hurt most by the acquisition would be her company. If the buyout goes through, Sprint would be a distant third in a three-horse race, with its 50 million subscribers well behind Verizon's 93 million and the proposed AT&T-Mobile's 129 million.
According to Sprint's statement, "AT&T's proposed $39 billion takeover" of the country's fourth-largest carrier "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."
McCann and her company have one receptive ear at the Federal Communications Commission, which – along with the Department of Justice and possibly the Federal Trade Commission – must approve the
takeover acquisition: the unnamed FCC official who told The Wall Street Journal that approval would be "a steep climb."
Big Phone is undeterred – in public, at least. "We understand that Congress, the DOJ, the FCC, as well as wireless consumers will have questions about the transaction," an AT&T spokesman told the WSJ. No problem, he asserted. "We look forward to answering and addressing those questions. We are confident that the facts will demonstrate that the deal is in the public interest and that competition will continue to flourish."
Sprint can handle itself in a fair fight, McCann says, and "stands ready to compete in a truly dynamic marketplace." But if the acquisition is approved, Sprint's statement argues, "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."
As did AT&T, McCann also waved the ol' Stars 'n' Stripes in its argument, asserting that stopping the acquisition is their patriotic duty. "So on behalf of our customers, our industry and our country," she said, "Sprint will fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly."
Curiously silent – so far – in this war of words has been AT&T's bête noire, Verizon Wireless, which is currently neck and neck with Big Phone for the title of el numero uno in the US wireless market.
Silent in public, that is – we can only assume that the phone lines linking Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Washington DC have been burning up since news of the proposed acquisition broke just over a week ago.
Wouldn't it be a lovely irony if those frantic Verizon lobbyists were cajoling their regulatory contacts over AT&T's phone lines? ®
If they let this one through........
.........then the attitude of the competition authorities in the US can only be described as the same joke in poor taste as that of the equivalent in the UK. This should be a no-brainer, so much so that it should have been the case that AT&T wouldn't even have attempted this merger let alone had serious hopes of getting it approved. Given the increasing importance of mobile communication and data transfer in the lives of the vast majority of ordinary Americans it is a disgrace that it is even possible that this could be accepted.
Griping about control? Stop CONTROLLING US, Sprint!
I have the Sprint HTC EVO 4G, still running on Android 2.2 I attempted to update JUST Saturday (26 March, or maybe Sunday the 27th), and no updates are available. I've had the fsking phone (pretty nice, actually) since January, and it's been out since April or so of 2010. IN WANT THE FSCKING UPDATE NOW! Stop kvetching about AT&T/T-Mobile, Sprint!
Improve the battery life, let me USB tether! Allow us to remove crap and rom-coded branding such as nascar, blockbuster, nova, and football. Jeez! Give us a firewall or packet logger to block market apps that google allows to read our files! There's no need to for you to waste money battling ATTTM when you can spend that money enriching our user experience. Don't leave it ALL up to google. And, stop offsetting your subsidy of the phone by coerced landing/branding irons in our faces.
Not good for MVNO either
Peoples seem to think that it's only tmob's clients, ATT's that will be effected. MVNo's like tracfone, who've been getting a beter deal from Tmob, will now have to sit at the bargaining table with even less cards in their hands. This means one of two things for my net10 deal; the next upgrade I get will more than likely be a CDMA based phone, and plan, and the plans are certainly not going to be any cheaper.
Then again I might be wrong (and I hope so), seeing that tracfone almost floated ATT's figures in the last quarter, which they might do again, in which case, AT&T might rest most of tracfone's subscribers away seeing that they can now afford the increase of BW usage.