The prospect of being a distant number three in the wireless race has Sprint on the offensive once again in opposition to AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.
Sprint hasn’t exactly been quiet about its position on the deal, but on Monday, Vonya McCann, the company’s senior vice president of government affairs, turned the tenor of her employer’s opposition up a bit.
"This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it... Sprint will fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly," McCann said in a statement, referring to Verizon—formerly Bell Atlantic—as well as AT&T. The two companies are already the biggest players in the wireless industry, and would really dominate the market if the T-Mobile sale goes through.
For its part, AT&T sees a different competitive landscape than the one that Sprint fears. "The U.S. wireless market is intensely competitive with five or more competitors in 18 of the top 20 markets,” the company said in a statement. “The AT&T T-Mobile merger will improve quality for consumers, provide a near-term solution to spectrum exhaust, and expand the availability of LTE to 95 percent of Americans, spurring innovation and economic growth.”
If regulators let the deal go through, the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would pull in almost three times as much wireless revenue as Sprint.