While Sprint appeared calm and collected about the whole AT&T-T-Mobile buyout when it was first announced, it looks like they haven’t been so cool after all. Sprint has just announced that they oppose the whole $39 billion takeover. At present, AT&T is the second largest carrier in the US, with Verizon in the lead. If AT&T takes over T-Mobile, it would make them the largest carrier in the US, leaving Sprint behind as the third largest carrier in the country but barely a third of AT&T-T-Mobile combined.
Effectively this would only leave the US with two major carriers in very good positions to attempt to monopolize the industry. According to Sprint’s senior vice president of Government Affairs, Vonya McCann, “Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition. 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.”
AT&T-T-Mobile would mean better service and coverage for its customers, but for the rest of the folk not on their network, it would mean one less choice if they ever decide to switch networks and we all know how unhealthy a limited marketplace can be for consumers. After all, we love having choices. While this means that smaller carriers can start to shine with lower prices, in attempts to compete with the giants, the sheer number of subscribers on AT&T-T-Mobile’s network would probably render their attempts futile. I guess we’ll just have to see how it all plays out. Stay tuned for more details.