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.