A number of public interest groups have come out swinging against AT&T, saying that its proposed merger with T-Mobile will harm consumers and stifle competition in the mobile space. The groups, which include Media Access Project and Consumers Union, filed a reply with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday in response to arguments from AT&T and T-Mobile that the merger would be beneficial to consumers because it would accelerate the deployment of next-generation wireless access. The groups say that the opposite will happen if the FCC allows the merger to go through.
"Removing one of three direct competitors with AT&T from the nationwide market — and its only competitor in the GSM submarket — would leave a void that no other carrier is capable of filling," the groups said in a statement to the FCC. "Removing T-Mobile, in particular — a consumer-friendly, price-disciplining, maverick provider of low-cost and innovative mobile wireless products in an increasingly consolidated market — implicates the public interest even more palpably. No amount of rhetoric or economic gerrymandering of markets can change that fact."
On May 31 Media Access Project filed a petition urging the FCC to deny the proposed $39 billion merger on behalf of groups Center for Media Justice, Consumers Union, the New America Foundation and Writers Guild of America, West.
AT&T and T-Mobile filed an opposition opinion on June 10, arguing that the transaction is only opposed by other companies such as "Sprint and a few other wireless competitors" as well as "inside-the-beltway special interest groups" that generally oppose all mergers."
Source: The Hill