The T-Mobile iPhone may have to wait, especially if it means monopoly.
The AT&T T-Mobile merger has been the subject of controversy right from its first rumors as most insiders could look at the proposed market share and see that it violates competitive business practices and borders on anti-trust violations. AT&T then proposed to the Federal Communications Commission that the merger was necessary to have the needed capital to expand their network to hit 97% of the country. In an assumed recent slip up, AT&T uploaded a file to the FCC’s website showing that the cost of expanding their new 4G LTE network to over 80% of people in the country was going to cost $3.8 million. The acquisition of T-Mobile would cost $39 million.
What this means is that the claims for the importance of the merger on material grounds was fundamentally untrue, which could revoke chances of having the merger approved. If the amount of capital necessary for network expansive is only about ten percent of what the proposed merger would cost then the reason for it goes directly to market share, a claim that AT&T has try to hide from publicly. The file also shows that there was a commitment to hand over $6 billion to T-Mobile in case the merger fell through, which is again $2.2 billion more than what the actual network expansion would cost.
Wireless Week and Communications Daily picked up on the story before the document was quickly removed. Free Press, which hopes to fight telecom companies in the favor of the consumer, published a statement pointing out the exact nature of what AT&T was doing here and how there should be no legal standard for accepting this merger as legitimate. Margeret Boles, the AT&T spokesperson who is speaking out about this, has stated that these assumptions are untrue and that all of this evidence has already been open and part of their claims to begin with.
There is no telling exactly what this means for T-Mobile customers quite yet, but the cancelation of the merger will likely continue to mean more competitive prices in the long run. It will, however, likely put an immediate delay on the T-Mobile iPhone until Apple decides to open up their iDevice to a wider range of providers.