Telecomm Mega-Merger Meets Serious Resistance
According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T (NYSE:T) continues to engender opposition to its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Germany-based Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE:DTE). The proposed move is a $39 billion dollar buyout of T-Mobile USA by AT&T to be paid in a combination of cash and stocks. Skeptics are expressing concerns that the merger of the 2nd and 4th largest domestic wireless carriers could breach anti-trust regulations and would contribute to unfair competition and unjust market conditions in the industry.
In addition to the free-market concerns the proposed move has prompted from the justice department and government legislators, Sprint (NYSE:S), a major competitor, announced it has filed a complaint with the FCC, and will formally request that the merger be blocked, “noting the Commissions responsibility to protect consumers and the industry against precisely the kind of anti-competitive market control that will result from this transaction.” Sprint reportedly filed the required legal notice of opposition, a “petition to deny” with the FCC this afternoon.
Sprint’s legal argument for opposition is summarized in three key points, 1) the merger would harm competition, 2) the merger would harm innovation and investment, and 3) the proposed takeover offers no benefit to public interests.
Perhaps doubting the cogency of its legal arguments, Sprint has also sought to galvanize public support in blocking the AT&T-T-Mobile (NYSE:T) USA merger, creating the website http://www.notakeover.org, to help enlist protesters. The site explicitly urges visitors to take action towards preventing the merger and provides them with links whereby they can email complaint’s to the FCC and Congress, or tweet their disapproval to public officials.