Early Wednesday morning it was learned that the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to try and block the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. In this lawsuit they cited unfair competition in the wireless industry. Although some may see this lawsuit as a minor delay, the Department of Justice may just end up derailing AT&T’s plans.
The most vocal opponent of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger has been the third largest carrier in the US, Sprint. Sprint has cited several reasons, unfair competition included, that they oppose the merger. One of Sprint’s biggest fears is that a duopoly in wireless in the United States would stifle innovation and cause an unfair increase in what vendors charge the smaller carriers.
More after the break
Sprint’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Vonya B.McCann issued the following statement Wednesday after the DOJ announcement:
“The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers’ interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision – one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.”
Also earlier in the day we ran this story from an interview the Seattle Times did with Sprint’s President of Network Operations, Steve Elfman. In the interview Elfman disputes AT&T’s need for new spectrum. He also suggests that for T-Mobile to survive without the merger they will need to partner with other companies. Finally, in the interview Elfman contends that it will be hard for Sprint to maintain their competitive pricing, should the merger actually go through.
source: Sprint via Fierce and TDG