I've been doing a practical by Deutsche Telekom since Monday, so you can imagine that I've heard plenty of watercooler talk about the announcement of the proposed sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T, and what people's views are on the topic. I personally had my own strong doubts about whether this is the right choice for the American consumer, and it appears that at least one goverment representative has the same opinion.
According to the Washington Post, US Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar asked the FCC and DOJ to "take a close look at the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger", as the result will have a large impact on consumer choices, especially considering that the deal would make AT&T the only major GSM carrier in the US.
Sprint also opposes the deal, fearing that this merger would "dramatically alter" the wireless provider industry, as AT&T and Verizon would become dominated by AT&T and Verizon, as they control close to 80% of the US market.
There was also news today from AT&T that once the merger is completed in a few years, T-Mobile users will have to exchange their devices over if they don't support AT&T's radio bands, as AT&T will repurpose the T-Mobile towers for their upcoming LTE rollout in order to provide better network speeds.
I have no doubt that both the FCC and DOJ will look very carefully into the implications this deal could have for consumers, but it is reassuring to know that some figures in government share the concerns of their constituents and are already making their voice heard. There are some estimates that the full review of the acquisition maybe take up to a year and a half.
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