AT&T plans to merge with T-Mobile USA in a planned $39 million acquisition. However, the FCC and Department of Justice have filed lawsuits claiming antitrust issues against the merger. If the deal is approved, AT&T will become the largest wireless carrier in the United States with about 129 million customers. However, the most dramatic outcome of the deal would be the consolidation of the American wireless industry. AT&T and Verizon would control over two-thirds of the entire market. Marlene Burkhardt, professor of economics and business administration, discusses how this will affect the American cell phone business.
Will the consolidation and new competitive landscape help or hurt Americans?
I believe that it will hurt Americans. If the merger were to go through, AT&T would have a monopoly on the cell phone industry. This would not only mean that cell phone charges would likely increase but also, that AT&T could dictate the rules of mobile marketing and m-commerce.
Will AT&T’s service increase or remain the same? Will it surpass Verizon’s service?
AT&T would likely surpass Verizon.
Would merging AT&T and T-Mobile leave the market too concentrated?
Yes, it really would be a monopoly.
Will the merger help create more jobs and benefit the American public? Or will it lead to a monopolization of the market?
No, I have heard that AT&T claims that it will mean more jobs; however, I have not seen any evidence of such. It will likely mean less jobs overall. And, yes, it will lead to a monopolization of the market.
> ~Kayci Nelson ’14, Juniata Online Journalist