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Sprint responds to the AT&T and T-Mobile merger

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Sprint responds to the AT&T and T-Mobile merger
Given the sudden twist of fate for Sprint, which went from rumored to merge with T-Mobile, to being the smallest of the large US carriers in a few days, the CDMA carrier is certainly not very happy about it.

It didn't hesitate to express its concerns towards the creation of a carrier that in the end will be almost three times as large as its own subscriber base. Sprint issued a press release commenting on the merger that will be in full motion a year from now, but first has to pass big regulatory hurdles:

"The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, if approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would alter dramatically the structure of the communications industry,” Sprint said in a statement. “AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers. A combined AT&T and T-Mobile would be almost three times the size of Sprint, the third largest wireless competitor...

If approved, the merger would result in a wireless industry dominated overwhelmingly by two vertically-integrated companies that control almost 80% of the US wireless post-paid market, as well as the availability and price of key inputs such as backhaul and access needed by other wireless companies to compete... The DOJ and the FCC must decide if this transaction is in the best interest of consumers and the US economy overall, and determine if innovation and robust competition would be impacted adversely and by this dramatic change in the structure of the industry.

Certainly valid points, but America loves big, and we are sure AT&T is ready to make some concessions regarding all of these for in front of Uncle Sam, otherwise it wouldn't be hammering out a deal, if it thought it won't get approved by the FCC and the like. It will be interesting to follow the regulatory hearings, and gauge about the possible pricing strategy of the new AT&T.

source: AllThingsD

38 Comments
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posted on 21 Mar 2011, 04:17 1

1. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


I don't see how this would affect Sprint, other than the fact that they would look even smaller than they already are. If they keep their customers happy and provide competitive services, then their customers will remain loyal to them.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 07:13

4. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Actually, this could be a boone for sprint. A lot of people will be unhappy with the merger and if they offer incentives for those people to come to Sprint, they could get millions of new subscribers.

Id have a sale if the merger goes through, on the day that they officially become 1 company "anyone porting from AT&T&T :) gets free smartphones" and run that for a month or 2.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 09:13 2

9. ThePhoneGuru (unregistered)


I agree with Remixfa that this could be a blessing in diguise. In fact, I would suggest Tmob to start porting into Sprint because they have that $125 bill credit for porting in your numbers from another carrier. And that is for each new line. So if a family of five comes to Sprint from another company, that is a 625 service credit! THAT IS INSANE!

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 05:09 2

2. Blaze413 (unregistered)


I would haveto agree with gemini, but Ive been through 7 carriers so far and Sprint is by far my least favorite(Tmo is the greatest), expensive, not flexible with the customer base, and most of all HORRIBLE customer service

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 09:16 5

10. ThePhoneGuru (unregistered)


Seven carriers eh? Seems to me its not the phone companies you have problems with. This sounds more like a commitment issue. How is your relationship doing?

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 10:19 5

13. DJLegacy2k5 (Posts: 205; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Sprint is listed at some of the LOWEST prices period and last year one a JD Power award (the only one in cell carriers) for Customer Service...so your points are about as uneducated as could possibly be.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 10:19 2

14. DJLegacy2k5 (Posts: 205; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Won*.....grrrrr

posted on 22 Mar 2011, 10:02

33. GetItRight (unregistered)


Get It Right, TMO Has Won J.D. Powers Hands Down 2 Of The Last 3 Years, And Their Retail Setting Hav Won It 3 Years In A Row. SPRINT Customer Service SUCKS!!!!

posted on 16 Apr 2011, 12:59

38. DJLegacy2K5isretarded (unregistered)


T Mobile has won the award for best customer service from JD power and associates 9 out of 10 years. 7 of which were consecutive. I work for T-mobile i know!

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 06:20 1

3. sun0066 (Posts: 66; Member since: 12 Feb 2011)


i can understand about the costumer service even if now it has been mostly fixed but sprint being the most expensive it is something dummy to say , you just have to look its plans and you will realize Sprint has the best plan. I have been costumer for ATT and they thing that their service is extraterrestrial and the same with Verizon. Sprint signal is good ,reliable and in the web site you have a lot on online tools.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 08:38

5. blazeisdumb (unregistered)


first of all sprint will be fine. no reason for panic and for you to say that sprint is expensive then you really must be blazed. i use to work for tmobile and besides verizon they are more expensive.given customer service isnt sprints strong point but who cares when you can get a pretty much everything plan for 70 a month. clown

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 08:55 1

6. blazeisdumb (unregistered)


plus neither at&t or tmobile have a true 4g network either

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 08:55 1

7. Cole (unregistered)


I do believe Sprint will be fine. I think this will piss off a lot of costumers of T-Mobile. Who are with them for a reason and not At&t. Say the hell with them both. Come to Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, or Sprint. Why pay at&t prices!

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 09:08

8. earthly81 (unregistered)


Ummm just one thing.. but to keep a company up and running one thing that it needs is "people and money" with that said, if t-mobile and AT&T combine its going to cause Sprint to raise their prices to keep up with lost revenue .. its a monopoly they don't need to combine.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 09:18 1

11. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


Its apparent no one took high school economics class. It's not a monopoly because there is still competition both on the local level with regional carriers and national level with two other large carriers. Second it's not a merger. It's a buyout. Tmobile USA will cease to exist completely and att is not merging with DT AG.

And one last not, according to the 3gpp tmo and att do have true 4G networks. So if the guys who tell us what 4g is say they have it then who cares of you don't agree with it.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 13:41 1

22. Glenn Fonseca (unregistered)


AT&T and Tmobile will be a GSM monopoly. :)

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 09:59 2

12. ChrisTheTechGuy (Posts: 84; Member since: 04 Nov 2010)


@clevername, the FCC will determine that there has to be competition on a NATIONAL level, not just regional. Take a look at the Alltel buyout. VZW couldn't purchase all markets and were told to sell some of the purchased markets due to them becoming the only national carrier in the area, so there is a possibility that ATT may be forced to turn around and sell some Tmobile markets.

In my opinion, this buyout is a bad thing. You're essentially taking two carriers and giving them 80% market share on a national level. (based on post-paid consumers alone). People say this may be good because the two major competitors will battle out prices for lower. But in an analogy, when was the last time you drove by a gas station with another one across the street and saw one was lower, so you fill up there. Later in the day it is almost guaranteed that the lower priced gas station has risen their prices, no lowered them more to get business. Its a "we have similar services/products, and if they can charge that much, so can we" type of thing.

So we would go from 4 to 3 "major" carriers....followed up by which other national carrier? Virgin Mobile prepaid, Metro, US Cellular? Yeah right....we need to keep at least 4 "major" carriers to promote the best competition in the cell industry, because 2 will go head to head, demolishing the third.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 21:23

31. luxzy801 (Posts: 115; Member since: 16 Jun 2010)


@ChrisTheTechGuy:
VZW was not forced to sell Alltel assets because it would make it the only national carrier in the area.
The reason why is because the regional carriers filed a complaint to the FCC stating that putting a national carrier in an area where they are would present difficulties for the regional carriers and a possible closure of several regional carriers due to the full blown coverage and offerings of a national carrier..
That is why national wireless carriers are limited to how much of the country they can cover due to anti-trust laws set forth by the government and the FCC, and this is why no carrier in the US will ever have a 100% coverage...
As for the topic, as said previously by any other people here, I think sprint will be just fine and is probably looking to gain at least a million more subscribers if they can get on the right note and offer something that will appeal to the t-mo subscribers who do not want to be a part of at&t.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 10:52 1

15. blazeisdumb (unregistered)


@clevername go look at at&t and tmobiles website. it is there version of 4g which is actually called hspca+. the only reason they can call it 4g is because there is no real definition of 4g. do your research before you say something dumb

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 11:09

16. Jyakotu (Posts: 813; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)


ITU has rewritten the definition of 4G as any technology that is an advancement of 3G. Hence, HSPA+ is now 4G, and so is LTE and WiMax.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 11:30

17. phife56 (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 Mar 2011)


its still isnt real 4g technology

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 11:49 1

18. homineyhominey (Posts: 29; Member since: 10 Mar 2011)


t mo's "4g" in america is called "turbo 3g" in europe. Apparently we wouldn't understand

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 11:54 2

19. Mooktar Koogan (unregistered)


Sprint and Verizon have nothing to do but gain from this.

Many customers on Tmobile are there because they were treated badly or assraped by AT&T previously.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 12:55 1

21. DJLegacy2k5 (Posts: 205; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


By assraped, you mean "charged for services used"?

Ok...got it!

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 17:47

34. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


ZING!

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 12:05 1

20. the phone god (unregistered)


sprint and verizon should merge now

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 14:45

23. downphoenix (Posts: 2230; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Its called a monopoly.

And I wont be surprised if the AT&T overlords will throw tosn of incentivs to T-mo customers to con them into staying.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 15:19 1

24. ding2134 (Posts: 38; Member since: 30 Dec 2008)


Who is this sprint?

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 15:28

25. ding2134 (Posts: 38; Member since: 30 Dec 2008)


Whos is this Sprint?

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 15:42

26. RaptorJesus (unregistered)


In regards to 4G, LTE is the technology that will carry us the closest to the 100mbps speeds '4G' has been dictated to be. Secondly now that ATT and TMO are merging, if anyone has actually been reading up on this, ATT is going to upgrade to LTE so they will technically have much better data speeds. Now Sprint will be the only major company not using LTE which will be a BIG issue for them in the years to come. I am very worried about this merger, if it is approved, because even though the effects will not be immediate, down the road could lead to a monopoly and (even more) ridiculously priced wireless tech pricing even with LTE.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 16:14

27. mad loco (unregistered)


Nail on the head ^

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 17:48

35. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


if ur worried about pricing dont buy the service. go to prepaid and deal. if no ones buying it they have to mark down the price. if they do buy it it just means ur poor. get over it.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 17:05

28. MammaH (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 Mar 2011)


If verizon is smart they will leave Sprint alone. I had sprint for 11 months. during that 11 months I also had to maintain my US Cellular account. WHY??? because Sprint doesn't work inside a building, doesn't work at my home, doesn't work at my church on the other side of town--my children couldn't get ahold of me on sprint. After 11 months of a 12 month contract the phone gave out as well. finished up the last month on my us cellular phone and moved to AT&T in 2002. Been with them ever since. Gotta love rollover min.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 19:03

29. fairly_mismatched (unregistered)


Sprint stands to gain a few customers so they benefit in the short term. But in the long term as AT&T and Verizon vie with each other for dominance in the mobile market there's a good chance that Sprint will be acquired by Big Red which leaves the consumer with only the two most expensive options.
Even if Sprint remains standing alone they may not be able to maintain a competitive presence presence for long. It's just one step in the direction of only two major wireless carriers offering fewer plan options and fewer handset options.
This is a great move for AT&T (or at least the board members), a bad move for consumer choice, and an even worse move for T-Mobile customers.
(If you're a T-Mobile customer prepare to be the pivot man in an AT&T board member circle jerk.)

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 20:39

30. jayq (unregistered)


it all comes down to greed! thats all, they lost there golden egg...remember? they would charge you for any little thing and got away with it too because they had the iphone! even with the sh*tty reception they had people flocked and sucked up there hype and threw them there money. now there competitor verizon has this phone and theyre mad that someone else has it and that means they lost there advantage over verizon, not to mention that people that were paying out there noses for that iphone are going to verizon by the thousands and at&t is scared of losing them and know that theyre going to keep losing them. i mean what kept people paying close to $150 a month for dropped calls and bad service but the if not the iphone? now for the same price youll get service everywhere and they know if they get tmobiles sacred customer service maybe theyll get loyal customers over the years then screw them over. its all about bigger balls and at&t wanting to show they could hang with the big guy. what should of happen was sprint & tmobile because they both shared the same price plans and it only would of gotten better as tmobile would take care of the customer service and sprints network with tmobile would of made the best world phone and a real customer base closer to at&t's customer base than verizons but enough to keep the sprint-mobile up and out of the hole theyre in. it would of been sprints 70$ any mobile anytime with double or triple the reception and evdo for digital voice while hspa+ and wimax/LTE for data depending on witch has better reception in location. we know that it would be better for buisness growth and less about greed with sprint and tmobile than it is with verizon and at&t, how do they even dare charge so much when you have smaller companies showing they could do it with less.and an argument about its because theyre bigger would be flawed by the fact that they have more customers to balance things out and that they make deals and buy in bulk and all that.i hope they lose and that they have to give tmobile the 3billion dollars and the frequencies they promised if the deal doesnt go threw.

posted on 22 Mar 2011, 00:17

32. snowgator (Posts: 3158; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Sprint needs to continue on the path they have been on for the past couple years: solid customer service, competitive (even if not a lot of) devices, and improve your network. As my wife and I look at carriers in our area, I am AMAZED how many Sprint customers repeat MammaH's comment above- the network does not work indoors. One of the guys I work with cannot get any reception in the plant, and says he often has to step outside his own house to make calls. I really think this move can IMPROVE Sprints competitive opportunities as a viable third option, and could actually open the doors to smaller companies to become the next national #4 carrier. But the network has to match what the new AT&T and Verizon have, or else that opportunity will be lost. People want competition, and the consumer is not just going to fork money over to large companies blindly forever. Sprint can gain a ton of business, but IMPROVE YOUR NETWORK!!!!

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 17:54

36. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


im tired of all this already. if t-mobile was so awesome and fairly priced then why did they sell? because they didnt make enough money to even begin to think of a plan to roll out LTE and real 4G. if t-mobile didnt suck then guess what? people would have them and they wouldnt of needed to sell. they sucked, ur demands for lower pricing to jump to them made them suck, and if at&t caters to ur pricing demands they will end up sucking too (well...prob not....135 mil people paying bills could change that, but they suck now anyway even with money so who cares....)

posted on 24 Mar 2011, 00:46

37. angelC (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)


In a heavily debated offer, AT&T has made a bid to purchase T-mobile. This deal would be valued at $39 billion. The merging would have to go through multiple approvals before starting. The Department of Justice and FCC would both have a say. Most customers would partially benefit and partially be harmed by this merging. Some would even be willing to take out a payday loan to start a contract with T-Mobile.

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