Despite never satisfactorily answering questions raised by competitors and government regulators as to how the merger would benefit customers, AT&T is maintaining its party line that they simply don’t have enough bandwidth without adding T-Mobile’s airwaves to their own. Stephenson went on to explain that there are simply too many choices in carrier out there, saying:
The “competition makes us inefficient” line didn’t work too well for Pan Am in the 1940s, and we doubt it will garner much sympathy for AT&T today. Stephenson went on to say they would eventually have to raise prices on customers now that the deal was scuttled, and expressed regret that AT&T hadn’t imposed data usage caps and tiered pricing plans sooner.
We have no doubt that AT&T does regret this – as we’ve discussed before, the sooner everyone is moved off of unlimited data plans the sooner the carriers will have a free path to increasing revenue year over year without having to raise the price-per-GB of data. And we don’t begrudge AT&T for wanting to make money, that’s what they do. But given the threat of companies like Apple jumping in to the wireless network business (and likely rendering networks to true dumb-pipe status) we’re not sure that railing against competition and vowing to raise prices is the best way of securing long-term customer satisfaction.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!