Last week, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust complaint against the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile deal. Naturally, Sprint was quite pleased by this, as it has been fighting this deal tooth-and-nail since its initial announcement. Now, The Now Network has filed its own suit to block the deal.
Sprint's lawsuit is focused on how this merger would affect both competition and the consumer market, citing that it would:
- Harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.
- Entrench the duopoly control of AT&T and Verizon, the two "Ma Bell" descendants, of the almost one-quarter of a trillion dollar wireless market. As a result of the transaction, AT&T and Verizon would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.
- Harm Sprint and the other independent wireless carriers. If the transaction were to be allowed, a combined AT&T and T-Mobile would have the ability to use its control over backhaul, roaming and spectrum, and its increased market position to exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition.
The outcome of this merger is looking pretty grim for Ma Bell at this point, but everyday is a new twist in this saga -- we'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.
Update: As expected, AT&T has responded, talking some smack about Sprint and patting itself on the back in the process:
This simply demonstrates what we’ve said all along – Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers. We of course will vigorously contest this matter in court as AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA will: help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions; allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population; and result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.