November 27, 2014

Today's "DUH" Moment: Sprint Officially Opposes T-Mo/AT&T Merger

You can file this one in “totally obvious” bin.  Sprint put out a press release today, stating their official opposition to the proposed AT&T/T-Mo merger.  Like we expected them to say, “Hey, this is a GREAT idea! Go ahead and merge together these two carriers so we can be an even more distant third in the US!”

The press release talks about the fact that Sprint believes that if allowed to happen, it will create a “Ma-Bell Duopoly” for AT&T and Verizon, as they would be up to three times larger than Sprint is.  If you read between the lines, Sprint is of course afraid of being squeezed out of the market all together, or worried that they will be the next to be forced to merge in the near future.  The release goes on to state that this merger will undo 30 years of progress in the mobile communications market, where fair competition has benefited the consumer.  (Which is probably the statement that holds the most weight, and will be the biggest question that AT&T and T-Mo will have to answer about the merger).

See the full release after the break.

PRESS RELEASE

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.

“Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition”

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 andwww.twitter.com/sprint.