AT&T To Buy T-Mobile USA

Well, this is unexpected:

AT&T announced on Sunday that it has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock, in one of the biggest mergers since the onset of the financial crisis.

The deal will dramatically bolster AT&T’s footprint in the country, adding an additional 46.5 million customers.

(It makes more sense from a technology perspective than the Sprint/T-Mobile merger the rumor mill thought was going to happen, anyway, but that’s a different subject for another day.)

Sadly, after the deal completes, there’ll only be three national wireless carriers: one GSM carrier (AT&T) and two CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint). Fewer competitors in an industry is never a good thing, regardless of the industry, and this is no exception. Verizon already follows AT&T in whatever it does, so how long will it be until Sprint has to follow to maintain profitability? How long will it be until Sprint get bought out by Verizon too?

I hope the FCC and regulators keep that in mind when approving this merger, but why do I have this feeling it’ll just get approved without conditions anyway? This stuff is why we need to fight for true competition in the telecommunications industry. It’s far bigger than a single ISP imposing bandwidth caps–this is the future of the Internet and mobile technology at stake.

  1. T-Mobile: What now? | Stop it, AT&T. - pingback on March 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

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