Editor in Chief
AT&T Takes Jab at the Sprint & Softbank Deal; Suggests Heavy Scrutiny
It looks like AT&T may be expressing a little bit of bitterness about the past, when it comes to the proposed Sprint buyout by Softbank. They just issued a statement regarding the proposed buyout that doesn't outright condemn the deal, but attempts to point out an idea that might undermine the process. AT&T pointed out that if Softbank purchases Sprint, then a foreign company will own a large portion of our national cellular airwaves. Here's their alarmist statement,
Could this be a little case of "sour grapes" over what happened with their own proposed merger with T-Mobile from last year? To refresh your memory, AT&T attempted to buy out T-Mobile last year. The deal failed under intense scrutiny by several agencies of the US Federal Government. A number of other organizations testified in order to stop the deal, and it was eventually found to be anti-competitive. Sprint was one of the loudest opponents of the deal. The shoe seems to be on the other foot now for the Now Network. Although the deal is expected to pass muster, it is possible that AT&T's perspective could "throw a monkey wrench" into the process.
"Softbank's acquisition of Sprint and the control it gains over Clearwire will give one of Japan's largest wireless companies control of significantly more U.S. wireless spectrum than any other company. We expect that fact and others will be fully explored in the regulatory review process. This is one more example of a very dynamic and competitive U.S. wireless marketplace, which is an important fact for U.S. regulators to recognize."
What do you think? Is this something we should be concerned about, or is AT&T just trying to get a little revenge? Perhaps a little of both?
10-19-2012 11:37 AM