I am not a lawyer or even an activist. However, such a merger is apparently subject to antitrust review by both the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The existing major wireless carriers are Verizon Mobile, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. With 4 major national firms, customers have enjoyed competition in important areas:
- The technology for voice transmission, either GSM or CDMA.
- Coverage area.
- Service quality in big cities.
- Pricing plans. For example, all 4 big carriers offer some sort of prepaid service. T-Mobile has been a leader in prepaid, with Pay As You Go plans that are a favorite of low-usage customers.
- Customer service.
Although the national networks have grown by purchasing regional carriers, the 4 big companies have many differences, and the competition is real, not an oligopoly. If AT&T is allowed to buy T-Mobile, we will be on our way to oligopoly.
So, I am against the merger. The goal of the MobileCompete blog is modest: to organize links to published facts and opinions. If citizen A wishes to lobby Congressman B, then A can send B a link to this blog, as a brief way to build the case. Does this make sense? Please comment.
Thanks for reading and commenting!