Sprint, who has been very opposed to the AT&T and T-Mobile deal since its announcement, now wants California and West Virginia to follow Louisiana’s lead in putting the deal under some scrutiny. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said that a merger could create a duopoly in the U.S. wireless market, and that it would stifle innovation and ultimately be bad for consumers.
Third-largest U.S. wireless carrier Sprint filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday requesting an investigation into the $39 billion transaction, the company said in an e-mail.
“This transaction is bad for consumers and bad for the economy, and we look forward to having some regulatory sunshine cast upon it,” John Taylor, a spokesman for Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint, said in an interview. California and West Virginia should open reviews, as Louisiana has, he said.
The deal still needs to be reviewed and approved by the FCC and the Department of Justice, and that may take up to one year. Until then, Sprint is asking consumers and state agencies to consider the impacts and implications of the deal. Sprint yesterday filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission to look into the $39 billion merger.
AT&T spokeswoman Margaret Boles responded, “Sprint’s letter to the CPUC merely reiterates substantially the same unfounded accusations it has been peddling. We’re confident that the FCC and DOJ, after a full review of the facts, will determine that this transaction will be good for consumers, for workers, and for the economy.”
AT&T is consistently saying that the deal will be good for consumers, employees and the wireless market overall, but has yet to substantiate those claims with hard details. In fact, during the U.S. Senate hearing last week, AT&T dodged questions posed by the U.S. government, who asked AT&T why it couldn’t spend the $39 billion on its own infrastructure instead, or whether T-Mobile was a direct competitor to its own business.
It’s going to be an interesting year as we watch this deal play out as the opposition seems a bit overwhelming (i.e. as far as the news goes, we see far more opposing the AT&T and T-Mobile deal than those supporting it). An ACSI report the other day stated:
In the wake of their proposed merger, AT&T and T-Mobile show a large deterioration in customer satisfaction and in customer service.
How do you feel about the potential merger? Let us know your thoughts!