Recently, things were not going well for AT&T’s bid to acquire T-Mobile, but today things came to a hard stop as AT&T has withdrawn its offering in the face of hard objections from the government. AT&T says that it basically disagrees with the government, and that in its own view, a merger would have been a good thing for customers. “customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled” says AT&T in what appears to be a classic corporate answer to government adversity.
With T-Mobile, AT&T would have become the largest carrier in the USA, surpassing Verizon Wireless, who currently holds the title. AT&T has faced staunched opposition, particularly from Sprint, which is probably very satisfied by today’s news. “This is the right decision for consumers, competition and innovation in the wireless industry” says Vonya B. McCann, senior vice president of Government Affairs for Sprint.
Overall customers were not really enthusiastic about AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile. Many were complaining that AT&T’s customer service standards which are sub-par, according to many users, would quickly spread to T-Mobile. Others feared that T-Mobile’s lower pricing would be lost. And that’s exactly what Sprint was echoing in its statement: “From the beginning, Sprint has stood with consumers who spoke loudly and clearly that AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile would create an undeniable duopoly that would have resulted in higher prices, less innovation and fewer choices for the American consumer.”
Obviously, Sprint is also looking after its own interests, which are -among other things-, to not be left standing with two growing giants (AT&T and Verizon) and no LTE network for some time to come. But today, is a successful day for Sprint who can be seen as one of the chief lobbyist against the AT&T+T-Mobile merger.