On the subject of whether US antitrust law can or should stop this merger, I have no opinions. Antitrust law is best left to people who understand it better than I.*
But back to our topic, in a move that seems wrongheaded from every hat I could possibly find (except, of course the hats owned by ATT and Deutsche Telekom shareholders), T-Mobile agreed to be bought out by AT&T. If consummated, this will leave the US with:
- A sole major GSM provider.
- Only 3 major wireless providers.
- One less provider of good commercials.
In short, I’m not a big fan. However, M&A is not (and should not be) accepted or rejected in the court of public opinion. I will however note that legacy industries in the US, in a truly biblical move, have organized into trinities. There are now three mega-airlines, Delta, United and American. There are still 3 major car companies (Ford, GM, Chrysler) after a frightening brush with there being 0-1. There always have been 3 major sports (NBA, NFL and MLB). And so on. By contrast, I could think of only 1 major duopoly (Coke vs Pepsi), which is really also a trinity once you include Dr. Pepper and their productions. So, a short question. Why?
*A summary I was once given on the subject: if prices go down, predatory pricing is alleged, prices staying flat is called collusion, and rising prices are attributed to monopolies.