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At this point we’re not quite sure who actually wants the AT&T/T-Mobile deal to proceed other than AT&T and T-Mobile themselves. This time Leap Wireless has come out and verbally opposed the deal arguing that the merger would harm consumers due to reduced competition. Along with the reduction in competition Leap argues that too much power would be consolidated into the hands of just two wireless carriers.
“We oppose the proposed acquisition. A competitive marketplace is critical to wireless innovation — and small and mid-sized carriers such as Cricket are driving that innovation,” said Doug Hutcheson, President and CEO of Leap and Cricket. “The proposed acquisition would eliminate T-Mobile as an important nationwide competitor in the industry. It also raises problems of spectrum concentration and impaired access to spectrum by competitive carriers; undercuts access to wholesale voice and data roaming services; and threatens to foster reduced device availability and reduced interoperability of wireless networks and devices, among many other issues. Those results are not in the public interest.”
While AT&T has argued that carriers like Leap and Metro PCS represent significant competition in the low cost wireless market AT&T believes that removing T-Mobile from the marketplace is beneficial to carriers like Leap. Without T-Mobile, a low cost leader carriers like Leap will be primed to take advantage of customer defections according to the AT&T mentality.
Leap has 6 million customers in 35 states and believes that it would be unable to compete effectively against AT&T and Verizon in spectrum auctions and business partnerships.
Is there anyone who thinks this deal is still a good idea?