Chalk this up to the news that made you go “What?” today. Bloomberg reports that the US Justice Department is suing to block the AT&T takeover of T-Mobile. Basically, the idea is that the merger would make AT&T too large of a company, dwarfing competitor Sprint especially. This, in turn, would block competition and cause job loss for the companies who simply could not keep up.
ZDNet is reporting that Sprint almost single-handedly brought the case to the DOJ’s notice and has been lobbying against the merger from the beginning. They have every reason to, as their own company could take a major hit, along with the many smaller wireless companies across the country.
If you’re having trouble understanding why anyone would be against the merger, consider it this way. If Apple and Microsoft merged, there would be little ability left to compete because the company would simply be too big. Google could make a go of it, as they continue to diversify what they do, but few companies would be able to really compete. That would mean the mega-corporation (let’s call it Micrapple) would be able to set whatever prices they want, without need to lower them in order to match others’ prices.
What does this mean for you, as an Apple consumer? Well, it does cast a little doubt on whether or not T-Mobile will get the iPhone after all. After the Sprint rumors sprang up, there were a few sources stating that with the merger, T-Mobile would carry Apple’s signature product. Even if AT&T and T-Mobile cannot work out a deal with the DOJ, they could still have a sort of partnership. Of course, at the moment everything is speculation since the suit came down only this morning.
Do you have AT&T or T-Mobile? Were you looking forward to the merger, or dreading it as a consumer?