Talks are underway between the United States Justice Department and AT&T. The government filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on August 31, 2011 to put a halt to the company’s plans to buy T-Mobile USA. Let the battle to deregulate the wireless industry begin!
US Fears Higher Prices, Lower Overall Quality
If the merger succeeds, the government expects options for customers and bargaining promotions among wireless providers to dwindle. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole says customers benefit from the lower prices offered by T-Mobile and competition the company creates within the wireless market.
If T-Mobile dissolves, AT&T will continue to gobble up smaller wireless providers while expanding its dominance in the industry. Prices will ultimately skyrocket — because there will be little competition to stop it — and consumers who need wireless capabilities will have to comply.
AT&T Wants to Expand, Improve Customer Experiences
AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts was disappointed with today’s actions and asked for an “expedited hearing” according to a press release published on Engadget.
Watts says his company wants to increase service options for T-Mobile’s customers. While most customers can’t argue with increased networking capabilities, broader service coverage and the company’s promise to create more jobs, it does come at a cost — loss of choices in the market.
The transaction totes a hefty $39 billion dollar price tag. Currently, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T provide 90 percent of wireless services in the United States.