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San Francisco, CA – AT&T announced today that it will no longer pursue plans to acquire T-Mobile USA, a merger that would have combined the second and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, giving AT&T control over nearly 50% of the U.S. wireless market.
“Cell phone users just got an early holiday gift” said Jon Fox, Consumer Advocate with CALPIRG Education Fund.
“We’re not surprised to see this flawed deal fail. As proposed, AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile would have done little to protect American consumers or ensure that they enjoy competitive and dynamic wireless services,” said Jon Fox. “The U.S. wireless market is already concentrated among a handful of companies, and the proposed merger would have made matters worse,“ Fox added.
CALPIRG Education Fund, together with other consumer groups, have voiced concerns with the proposed AT&T takeover of T-Mobile. The merger would have created a market duopoly in which 80% of American wireless customers would belong either to AT&T or Verizon. For comparison, the top two oil companies in the U.S. have a combined market share of only 24%. The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed CALPIRG Education Fund’s concerns that the acquisition would reduce competition for wireless services in August when they filled an anti-trust suit to block the deal. A recent FCC report further called into question AT&T’s dubious claims that the merger would serve the public interest, convenience, or necessity.
“Regulators and consumer groups must continue to work together to protect consumers and develop competitive markets,” said Fox. CALPIRG called on regulators to not only stop market consolidation but also to open up wireless infrastructure to competition as the next step to ensuring competitive pricing and consumer protection.
The California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (CALPIRG) is a result-oriented public interest group that protects consumers, encourages a fair sustainable economy, and fosters responsive democratic governance.
For more information contact:
Jon Fox, CALPIRG Consumer Advocate
Office: (415) 622 0039 x309
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