Sprint plans to appeal AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile

By on March 24, 2011, 2:27 AM
Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse has declared that his company plans to submit its worries over AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile to Congress. At a wireless industry conference in Orlando, Florida, Hesse explained that he believes the deal would hurt the wireless industry as the combined company would have "tremendous" power. "I have concerns it would stifle innovation," Hesse said. AT&T, for its part, is taking the complaint in stride.

"We understand Sprint has concerns, and we'll be happy to address any they present, whether at the Justice Department, the FCC or the Congress," Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president at AT&T, told Bloomberg. "We feel we have good and compelling answers. And we feel policymakers will readily understand that any company with whom AT&T competes may not be especially positive about anything which makes AT&T a better competitor in the wireless market."

Late last week, AT&T announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately $39 billion. AT&T and Verizon Wireless would hold 79 percent of the US market if regulators approved the deal, leaving Sprint as an even weaker number three player in the US.

Earlier this week, Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead denied that his company was interested in Sprint and, at the same time, said he would not oppose the AT&T takeover of T-Mobile, which still needs to receive regulatory approval. Sprint, on the other hand, will do everything it can to see a rejection from US regulators.

The US House Judiciary Committee said yesterday it will hold a hearing in regards to the deal to look into possible anticompetitive impacts. Frankly, we'll be surprised if the acquisition isn't delayed, at the very least.


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