Dear Feds: Don't You Dare Let AT&T Buy T-Mobile

Say goodbye to competition, hello to gouging
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 7:13 PM CDT
AT&T's Plan to Buy T-Mobile Means the End of Competitive Cell Phone Service: Brett Arends
In this July 19, 2010 file photo, the AT&T logo is displayed on the side of a corporate office in Springfield, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile is brilliant, writes Brett Arends for MarketWatch—for AT&T. For everyone else, it's "disastrous," if not downright anticompetitive. "It will let AT&T shut down a competitor, jack up prices, and save on customer service," he writes in a bleak look at the proposed merger. A fourth player "helped keep the other three at least semi-honest. If you think they’re arrogant now, just wait till they’ve cut this cozy club down to three."

Seems Arends himself jumped ship from AT&T to T-Mobile just a few weeks ago. Why? "Simple. T-Mobile offered me a better deal." Those are the same T-Mobile perks that AT&T's chair says the company "will look hard" at. And Verizon and Sprint use the CDMA network, while T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM, so AT&T will now have a monopoly on GSM. If you doubt that AT&T is trying to game the system, Arends writes, consider that "the company spent $15 million lobbying in 2010 alone. The biggest beneficiary? House Speaker John Boehner. It employs 93 lobbyists. Seven more and it would have its own private Senate." (More AT&T stories.)

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