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Verizon claims AT&T, T-Mobile merger likely to happen

updated 09:05 pm EDT, Wed July 20, 2011

Only surprise was that it didn't happen sooner

Verizon COO Lowell McAdam has said at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference that he expects US regulators will approve AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. AT&T was facing a wireless airwaves crunch and grabbing the fourth-largest wireless carrier was a logical way to get it, he argued. Verizon has been visibly less vocal in its opposition to the proposed merger than Sprint Nextel, the third largest US provider.

"The merger will probably go through, said McAdam. "It's a merger AT&T probably had to do."

The AT&T and T-Mobile merger will catapult the combined company ahead of Verizon, which currently holds the top position in the US cellular market. Verizon's major concern from the merger may not be from any intensified competition from AT&T, but rather from possible regulatory fall out. The company is worried that the FCC may use the merger as an opportunity to increase its regulation of the industry and the Internet by enforcing net neutrality policies that it hopes will ensure competition and fairness.

Verizon has historically been opposed to net neutrality on its cellular network and bartered with Google to soften its stance when it suggested net neutrality rules last year.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004

    +3

    Less vocal

    Perhaps Verizon is being less vocal than Sprint, because they may be planning to do the same with Sprint, and would like the same consideration. The current oligopoly will become a duopoly in no time.

    --Len

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    +2

    competition isn't high already

    even with the '4' majors - competition isn't high, but t-mobile in particular was the budget option.

    with t-mobile gone, you may have some regional carriers as budget options or virgin mobile - but there are restrictions to using those choices - such as typically you can't just use any phone.

    No - this will harm competition - but - I assumed it'd go through the first day I heard about it - since when does the government step in - not all that often. It's almost just a charade, I don't know what they do that makes a difference.

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