Cell service provider Sprint has joined the efforts to keep AT&T and T-Mobile from merging by filing a lawsuit claiming anti-trust laws are being broken. Sprint announced today that there are considerable competitive and consumer harms which would emerge from such a merger, and outlined their views in a press release today.
[quote]- Harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.
– Entrench the duopoly control of AT&T and Verizon, the two “Ma Bell” descendants, of the almost one-quarter of a trillion dollar wireless market. As a result of the transaction, AT&T and Verizon would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.
– Harm Sprint and the other independent wireless carriers. If the transaction were to be allowed, a combined AT&T and T-Mobile would have the ability to use its control over backhaul, roaming and spectrum, and its increased market position to exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition.[/quote]
Sprint isn’t the only one with worries; the US government also moved to block this merger just last week. Sprint obviously has its own concerns in mind, as a joining of two powerful competitors would most definitely increase their uphill battle to stay prominent in the market, but the US government’s concerns are most likely towards the state of mobile service in the country as a whole. With the US (and Canada) having the most expensive and consumer-unfriendly mobile service in the world, a merger and potential monopoly has the potential to make things so much worse.
AT&T is one of the biggest providers of service to Apple’s iPhone and was the first company in the world to offer it to customers. T-Mobile does not presently sell them, but boasts over a million iPhones on their network.