AT&T Hits Snag in T-Mobile Merger Plans as DOJ Files Suit
AT&T has been hit with a Department of Justice action to halt the proceedings of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. According to the DOJ, it’s anti-competitive and it would kill a low-cost player in the mobile phone market. Read on for AT&T’s official statement and some perspective …
AT&T is unsurprisingly surprised about the DOJ decision to step into the T-Mobile merger. According to Wayne Watts, AT&T’s senior executive VP:
… we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.
AT&T is hoping it will be able to plead its case and show the merger will be a win-win overall, with improved cell reception and service in addition to faster expansion of 4G/LTE service. Added bonus: AT&T says it’ll create jobs.
But not so fast. AT&T is on thin ice with its recent leak of legal documents that suggest AT&T is simply buying T-Mobile because it’s easier to buy the competition than compete against it. It doesn’t matter if it costs more or less than physically building out a new infrastructure — for AT&T, the acquisition not only adds to its infrastructure but also cuts down on competition. That sounds pretty anti-competitive to me, though AT&T has denied it up and down. But if AT&T’s primary justification for the acquisition is simply because it’s lazy, that’s not innovative and not in the best interest of anyone.
With recent rumors that T-Mobile and Sprint may get the iPhone 5, it’s likely competition will heat up considerably more among the four cell providers in the United States, and that’s always a good thing for the consumer. For that reason alone, I think I’ll be voting against the merger if it somehow passes DOJ scrutiny. More importantly: What do you think? Sound off in the comments and tell us what your experience has been with these providers.