Is AT&T foolishly pursuing a T-Mobile acquisition?

AT&T is facing opposition from the government and other wireless carriers, but that’s not going to stop the company from pursuing its acquisition of T-Mobile. Speaking at the UBS media conference, AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens confirmed that AT&T is moving ahead with its plan to buy T-Mobile. AT&T has at least $10 billion in assets that it can use to close this deal, and it’s ready to spend it, if that’s what it takes.

AT&T ha a long road ahead of it, though. The carrier must face a DOJ lawsuit and argue that a merger of two of the four largest wireless carriers in the US benefits competition and is good for consumers. Assuming it persuades the DOJ, AT&T then faces a hostile FCC which strongly opposes the deal. If AT&T can pull off a miracle and convince the FCC to rubber stamp the deal, it must contend with Sprint which also filed a lawsuit opposing this deal.

AT&T has a lot of legal red tape it must wade through before it can close on this deal. This uphill battle will cost the carrier both money and time. While AT&T is fighting for its right to merge, Verizon will be expanding its LTE footprint and moving even further ahead of its competition. Yes, AT&T needs T-Mobile’s spectrum for its LTE expansion, but isn’t there another way to get the wireless assets it requires? Is this merger worth falling even further behind Verizon in the LTE market?


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