Not surprisingly, AT&T filed a formal response to the Department of Justice lawsuit that seeks to block an AT&T and T-Mobile merger.
If the merger goes through, AT&T says the combined company will “result in increased output, higher quality service, fewer dropped calls and lower prices to consumers than without the merger.”
Lower prices to consumers? If the DOJ allows this to go through, that’s something we need to see in writing.
AT&T said, surprisingly, at least to us, that the combined company will “usher in more intense competition to an already vibrantly competitive market.”
Now, we agree that using T-Mobile’s network will bolster AT&T’s and provide stronger signal, but more competitive? You take away one of the four primary carriers in the nation and drop to three and it’s hard to believe it’ll be more competitive, unless AT&T becomes ultra-aggressive on price.
“Although the transaction will remove T-Mobile as an independent competitor, no significant consumer harm will result,” AT&T said in its filing. “The Department does not and cannot explain how, in the face of all of these aggressive rivals, the combined AT&T/T-Mobile will have any ability or incentive to restrict output, raise prices, or slow innovation. Nor can it explain how T-Mobile, the only major carrier to have actually lost subscribers in a robustly growing market, provides a unique competitive constraint on AT&T.”
We figure this is going to get interesting.