High Profile Support for AT&T T-Mobile Merger
The New York Times reports that large industry players and companies like Microsoft, Research In Motion (makers of Blackberry), Qualcomm, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, and 10 major Venture Capital firms are backing the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. GeekWire also posted a copy of their letter in support. It is notable that this group has traditionally been distrustful or opposed to AT&T in Tech Policy especially with the recent Net Neutrality issue, but they reached the conclusion that the positives of the wireless merger outweigh the negatives.
The group considered but ultimately rejected Sprint’s arguments that the merger would reduce competition and hurt innovation because they fear the spectrum crunch destroying the quality of experience for applications and devices. Sprint’s arguments might also have been more persuasive if they weren’t, despite investor protest, hoarding spectrum to depress Clearwire stock to facilitate their takeover. T-Mobile has valuable spectrum and other infrastructure that will help AT&T “expand its nascent 4G network to cover 97 percent of the country and an additional 55 million Americans.” This is much more important to the mobile hardware and application ecosystem than what little marginal level of competition a struggling T-Mobile can provide even if T-Mobile survives independently.