Among the big concerns surrounding the pending sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T are the potential for rate increases for current T-Mobile customers and the near-duopoly that would exist in the aftermath of the sale. In a new interview with USA Today, the Death Star’s CEO attempted to assuage worries on both fronts.
On the topic of rate increases, Randall Stephenson refused to state definitively whether or not prices would go up, but did say that, “We have a history, when we acquire one of these companies, we map their rate plans into AT&T. So if somebody chooses to stay on that rate plan, those rate plans are available.”
When pressed as to whether that could be construed as a commitment to maintain current T-Mobile rate plans, Stephenson responded, “I don’t see why we would change it for this case. It’s just a customer-friendly thing to do.”
Because if there’s one thing that AT&T has been known for, it’s being customer-friendly.
And though the combination of T-Mobile with AT&T would mean that it and Verizon would control around 70% of the mobile phone market, Stephenson believes that people will still have options. “In 18 of the top 20 markets, the customer has a choice of five different competitors. It’s a fiercely competitive market today. It will be a fiercely competitive market after this deal is done. We don’t see that changing.”
We’re assuming that one of the five choices he’s referencing is T-Mobile. If so, then once the sale goes through, consumers would lose 20% of their existing options.
ATT CEO talks optimistically about T-Mobile deal [USA Today]