AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile should be blocked

The Justice Department is correct to be concerned about the potential anti-competitive effects of a merger between ATT and T-Mobile. Such a merger would threaten the viability of Sprint-arguably the more aggressive of the top three wireless carriers in introducing new technology-and solidify the grip of two legacy Bell companies.
Together, T-Mobile and Sprint have been more nimble and aggressive in building out technology, while the legacy Bell companies have been more interested in monopolization of the industry. The latter simply does not service wider business competitive and consumer interests.
AT&T and Verizon have not been quick to fully build out new technology, and an oligopoly on internet service dominated by those two companies and cable monopolies would almost guarantee rates would not fall and consumers would have too few choices.
A strong flexible and rapidly advancing internet backbone is essential to U.S. international competitiveness. Leaving it in the hands of AT&T and Verizon makes little sense from the perspective of broader business needs.
Peter Morici is a professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland School, and the author of “Antitrust in the Global Trading System.” He is a former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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