9 States Subpoena Sprint Over AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

Posted on Jul 13 2011 - 11:23am by Kyle

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph DeLa Vega (far right) And Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (second from right) aren't so friendly these days. photo: TDG LLC CTIA 2011

The AT&T/T-Mobile merger is currently undergoing the government regulatory process. The proposed purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T for $39Billion dollars needs to be approved by the FCC and the Department of Justice.

The FCC has been collecting information from all the parties involved or affected by the proposed meger. Sprint has of course been the most vocal opponent to the merger.  Although things seemed tense in Orlando Florida when Sprint’s Dan Hesse and AT&T’s Ralph DeLa Vega sat on a panel together moderated by Jim Cramer, things really heated up as soon as the Sprint folks got back home to Kansas.

More after the break

Hesse has voiced his concerns that AT&T doesn’t really have the spectrum crunch that they are citing as the reason for the merger.  Prior to AT&T’s announcement about T-Mobile they had closed with Qualcomm to purchase $1.9 billion dollars worth of spectrum from their failed “Flo TV” Venture. Hesse contends that AT&T should have enough spectrum that they’ve been warehousing to build out their network.

AT&T announced in January at CES that they were doing “4G” in two parts. The first part is HSPA+ technology, the same technology T-Mobile brands as “4G”.  They are also launching a 4G/LTE network similar to that of top competitor Verizon Wireless. It’s presumed that they need more spectrum to build out a competitive 4G/LTE network against Verizon.

Sprint basically calls BS in regards to this notion from AT&T.

Sprint’s opposition to the merger has resulted in 9 states subpoenaing all of Sprint’s information regarding the proposed merger. Attorney Generals in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York , Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington State are looking to get all the information from Sprint before deciding on whether or not to support the merger.  Although the FCC and Department of Justice are the only agencies that need to initially approve the merger, state governments can file antitrust lawsuits in their states which would hold up the merger.

Sprint also contends that the merger will create a duopoly and that with two major carriers Verizon and AT&T, prices for infrastructure technology will be driven up to where Sprint will no longer be able to compete.

If the merger gets approved we at TDG speculate that the influx of customers who abandon AT&T/T-Mobile will actually head to Sprint, so although they strongly oppose the merger, they will gain more customers.

Source: Cnet

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  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    And then Sprint will merge with Verizon Wireless and the average customer will be boned.

  • Jrbservices

    Why would anyone want to go to sprint? Maybe sprint should step up and do something with their crappy network! It sucks in MN

  • Tina

    Ha, I’m looking at this right now because I’m going to switch to Sprint today–lol. I’ve had every carrier except Sprint and my ranking of those companies are: T-mobile, Verizon and AT&T dead last.

    AT&T is the only company (although Verizon has tried it a few times–rare though–might be mistakes) that tried to charge me and my parents all these random ass bullshit fees and overages (we’re not just talking wireless but landlines too) and randomly decided to charge me whatever the hell they wanted… and the funny thing is that my family rarely makes calls–if at all! (In high school I only had 60 min/month). Can’t tell you how many times my mom had to scream at the people at AT&T for overcharging her for the landline. My dad is divorced from my mom and he also had AT&T at the same time and had similar problems. Who knows, maybe they’ve improved their billing in the last 8 years but I know none of us are ever going back to AT&T. Literally my mom makes ONE phone call per week–at most–ever and she got $100+ bills for just landline multiple times and we didn’t even have dial-up. Now we have Verizon landline and T-mobile wireless–but gotta change wireless. Hello, Sprint, here I come. Thanks, T-mobile, for betraying your customers.