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Senator Franken says AT&T, T-Mobile merger hurts competition

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Wed July 27, 2011

Deal not in the public's best interest

Senator Al Franken has sent a letter to federal regulators recommending that they reject the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. In the 24-page document, the Minnesota Democratic expressed concerns that the deal would competitively squeeze Sprint and other smaller players,ultimately resulting in a Verizon and AT&T duopoly. The Senator also fears the $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T would drive up wireless prices and cost thousands of jobs.

"This transaction is not in the public interest," Franken said. "If approved, it would result in greatly reduced competition, the potential loss of thousands of jobs, higher consumer prices, and less innovation in technology."

If the merger were to take place, Franken argues that it would give Verizon and AT&T control over 82 percent of the market. Sprint would hold 15 percent, but the Senator believes it would not remain competitive, its share shrinking until eventually, it would be absorbed by either of the two larger carriers, leaving the country with a two-player market.

Response to the AT&T buy out of T-Mobile, announced in March, has elicited both strong support and objections. Sprint and other smaller carriers vehemently object. Facebook, Microsoft and RIM back the merger because they believe the deal would help AT&T extend its 4G data network and help meet growing demand for wireless services. Verizon believes it will happen, but has concerns that the FCC will increase its regulation of the industry as a result.

By Electronista Staff


  1. lysolman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Does it seem to you

    that a former comedian and SNL cast member is paying attention to issues actually affecting citizens, where as "real" politicians don't seem to give a s***?

    Also, the f****** news never covers this s***, and it drives me crazy. This particular item is going to affect almost every single citizen. If not now, very soon in the future as more and more people turn to mobiles as main means of communication.

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    so what hes saying is

    verizon has the upper hand and should stay that way?

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000


    double edge sword

    Despite not caring for just about anything related to Franken, he has a point on this one. It is true that Sprint would be squeezed, and prices could indeed go up. At the same time, if it wasn't so damn difficult to get approval to build a stupid cell tower, AT&T would not need to buy up an existing carrier. Maybe Franken should set his sights on reducing the govt. interference that makes it practically necessary for an act of god to get a cell tower built.

  1. garmonbosia

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Re: double edge sword

    You're right up until your last sentence. The good Senator has nothing to do with local laws that make it near impossible to get cell towers built. City councils are the o****** through which cell towers must pass, and they get stopped by the NIMBYs.

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