Sprint: AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Would Create Duopoly
Sprint held a conference call this afternoon in an attempt to cast some spin on comments made about CEO Dan Hesse by AT&T. On April 15, Hesse made comments regarding Sprint's opposition to the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. AT&T responded with a post on its policy blog, saying that Hesse's remarks were off-base, and not consistent with its past position regarding mergers and acquisitions, and the competitive nature of the market. Sprint representative John Taylor said that AT&T's blog post was an attempt to mislead the public on Sprint's position. Taylor says that Sprint favors mergers and acquisitions, but not in the case of AT&T and T-Mobile, which it repeatedly said would create an imbalanced duopoly (AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless) in the U.S. Sprint said that the merger will reduce competition, slow innovation, increase consumer pricing, and won't lead to any real consumer benefit. Sprint says the merger won't lead to LTE in rural areas, nor will it improve coverage in urban areas, as AT&T and T-Mobile's GSM networks almost entirely overlap. Sprint said it will continue to "raise the alarm" about the merger, which it firmly believes should not happen. It expects U.S. governmental regulators to see past what it called AT&T's attempts to distract the public. AT&T is expected to file official paperwork with the FCC this week. The FCC has promised the deal will undergo a thorough review.
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