September 1, 2011 Leave a Comment
In case you didn’t hear, AT&T is in the process of attempting to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. Not only would this make AT&T the nation’s largest wireless carrier (controlling 43.3% of the wireless market), but it would also mean that more than 75% of the nation’s wireless customers would be on AT&T and Verizon Wireless. What this means is that the third largest carrier, Sprint, which I’m a customer of, would have less than a fourth of the nation’s wireless customers. This deal is extremely anti-competitive, and anti-consumer. With less carriers, and less choice, this would allow cellular providers to increase prices, decrease choices in phones, and reduce innovation. Just yesterday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the proposed deal. I strongly believe that there would be no benefits to consumers from this acquisition. All AT&T is doing is eliminating a major competitor. If you’re on T-Mobile, you probably realize that you have access to some of the cheapest prices available in the wireless industry, as well as decent coverage. If AT&T acquires T-Mobile, it’s fairly obvious that they will change the pricing scheme to match that of their own, allowing them to force consumers into paying a lot more for their wireless service. Service charges are already high as it is, with more carriers charging more money for lesser or equal amounts of features and unlimited data service disappearing in favor of a tiered pricing model, we simply can’t afford to lose a huge competitor to the major cellular carriers. I believe that everyone who owns a cellular phone in America will be, in some way, hurt by this deal. As consumers, we simply cannot allow AT&T to acquire T-Mobile. The only possible outcome is less competition, less choice in wireless devices, higher prices, and less jobs in the wireless industry.