AT&T and T-Mobile Deal: Sprint Opposes – War of Words

We recently brought readers the news about an AT&T and T-Mobile deal that would make AT&T the biggest wireless carrier. We then wondered how this would impact on Sprint especially if they become the only carrier not to carry the Apple iPhone 5. Now we hear that unsurprisingly, Sprint is opposing AT&T’s move to acquire T-Mobile.

In our article (linked to above) we wrote about the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile and asked if the expansion in coverage would be worth the price of less competition in the market. Now Sprint Nextel has officially declared its opposition to the $39 billion deal with their reasons being that it would “harm consumers and harm competition,” according to Josh Ong over on Apple Insider.

Yesterday Sprint issued a press release and strongly asserted the company’s resistance to the AT&T buy out of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom stating, “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.” Sprint also brought Verizon into the picture by stating that if the deal went through AT&T and T-Mobile would be around three times the size of Sprint, and this would create a duopoly between AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse, had previously said, “If this transaction goes through you’re talking 79 percent, or roughly 80 percent of the market controlled by two companies. I think that’s a little too much–too much concentration.” Meanwhile AT&T is fighting back as Eliza Krigman on Politico gives details about AT&T’s response to Sprint’s opposition. AT&T insist the move will give customers improved quality and its chief of public affairs, Jim Ciccone, said, “Rather than becoming distracted by challenging the business strategies of others, we have always found that the most constructive course is to focus on our own strategies for serving our customers and building our business.”

So this looks like a war of words that’s set to continue and although the AT&T deal was expected to take around one year to conclude, it looks as though it’s going to be a long rough ride. We’d like to know where you stand on this issue. Do you think the merger is a positive move, or perhaps you think less competition in the market can never be a good thing? Let us know with your comments.