A few months ago, we reported that AT&T was in the process of acquiring T-Mobile in a move that would make the company the largest cell phone carrier in the country. As it stands, AT&T is the second largest cell provider with just over 95 million customers, while T-mobile’s 34 million wireless customers makes it the fourth largest provider.
As it turns out, this acquisition may not happen after all. The United States Justice Department is in the process of fighting the merger and has gone as far as to file an antitrust lawsuit claiming that the merger would be detrimental to competition and innovation within the industry. US antitrust laws are designed to prevent companies from gaining a market dominance that effectively eliminates competition and creates an environment where innovation is limited and, in some cases, even removed completely. As such, it should come as no surprise that there is opposition to this merger.
The problem with this merger is that it would reduce competition in an industry that already has such a small number of players. While there are always going to be new companies and new ideas, it can be very difficult to compete with companies the size of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-mobile. If we allow these companies to team up, that challenge becomes even more difficult and goes against many of the principles that govern our marketplaces.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we look to bring you more information and updates on this story.