Sprint Officially Asks FCC To Block AT&T Purchase Of T-Mobile

Since AT&T announced its plans to purchase T-Mobile USA for around $39 billion, the folks at Sprint have been quite public about their opposition to the deal, taking out mocking ads and testifying before lawmakers in Washington. Yesterday, Sprint made its stance official, filing a “Petition to Deny” the deal with the Federal Communications Commission.

Among the reasons given by Sprint for blocking the merger:

* It would reverse two decades of successful U.S. government wireless competition policy and result in higher prices for consumers in the absence of marketplace choices.
* The transaction would do nothing to relieve AT&T’s purported spectrum congestion. AT&T is already the largest holder of licensed spectrum and unused spectrum and has simply failed to upgrade or invest sufficiently in its network. Moreover, AT&T does not need T-Mobile to expand its LTE network to reach 97 percent of all Americans, because its current spectrum holdings and network already reach approximately 97 percent of the population.

“In effect, AT&T is simply seeking a government bailout for problems of its own making and expects the cost of the bailout to be shouldered by American consumers,” writes Sprint in a statement. “Instead of paying Deutsche Telekom $39 billion, AT&T could invest a fraction of that amount to expand its LTE deployment to nearly all Americans.”

Sprint obviously has more than the consumers’ best interest at heart in filing this petition. A combined T-Mobile/AT&T would be the country’s largest wireless provider and would leave Sprint in a distant third place behind Verizon. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has already testified before members of the Senate that this would likely make his company a prime takeover target.

You can read the whole Petition to Deny here.