Profound editorial in the Lowell Sun today about the approach to the AT&T, T-Mobile merger that the federal government is taking. “Too big to allow” seems to be the mantra, as two federal agencies and a federal court hold the two companies futures in their hands.
The hung up, according to the Federal Communications Commission (which has conveniently inserted itself into the antitrust expertise category along with the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice) is that prices may rise; a competitor may be eliminated; and jobs would be lost.
History over the last decade has shown that prices have fallen, even after a number of wireless mergers, including AT&T and Cingular wireless. Smaller carriers should be given credit for bringing innovative products into the wireless markets and helping to drive prices down. Why should we not expect new entrants to continue the trend of taking advantage of new opportunities to brong innovative products into the market in the wake of another merger? Why shouldn’t we expect prices to fall even further?
Does the FCC need a reminder that they have not yet declared that the wireless market is competitive? How can the removal of T-Mobile USA now have any more detrimental impact on the market than its elimination by its own parent?
And talk about job loss. Over 300,000 people left the labor force in November. Does allowing T-Mobile to fade away make really support a “jobs creation” policy?