Mar 24th, 2011

Everyone and their mother has an opinion about the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile – including me. Some say it’s good, I say it’s bad. Some say it’ll go through, I say there’s a good chance it won’t. But now an FCC Official took a moment off the record to say there is “no way” the FCC will “rubber-stamp” the deal, claiming it faces “a steep climb”.

As I expected.

When Verizon bought Alltel in 2008 it faced a large amount of FCC and that company was MUCH smaller than T-Mobile USA. However, Verizon made enough concessions on a market-by-market basis, allowing Alltel to keep it’s assets in locations without ample competition, and they were able to go through with the deal.

The question, in my opinion, is where do you draw the line? If Verizon could make enough concessions… why can’t AT&T make it work as long as 1 other carrier is in each market? And if AT&T can make buying T-Mobile work, why couldn’t Verizon buy Sprint as long as there was a competitor in each city-by-city basis? And if all that goes through, we’ll be left with 2 carriers and a bunch of scrapple.

I hope the FCC looks at this deal with the highest level of scrutiny and thinks about the DISTANT future of mobile competition, not just the latest 3-year hoorah. We need healthy competition!

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