U.S. cell service provider Sprint Nextel is apparently concerned over what may happen to the country’s mobile phone market should AT&T buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom.
According to the Wall Street Journal, an unnamed source “familiar with the company’s thinking” said Sprint executives are concerned that the buyout would create a market where AT&T and Verizon block out competition, and block competitors from offering high-demand smartphones.
AT&T announced on Sunday that it struck a deal with Deutsche Telekom to buy the U.S. branch of T-Mobile. The deal will cost AT&T some US$39 billion in cash and stock and the companies hope to finish the transaction within about 12 months.
While the announcement came as a surprise to most of the world, it was also a shock to Sprint since the carrier had apparently been under the impression that it would be buying T-Mobile, according to TechCrunch.
“I know this news is unexpected and may be somewhat unsettling, but I am confident that our strong culture and T-Mobile USA Values will help guide us through this process,” T-Mobile USA CEO Phillip Humm told employees in an email message.
Of course, AT&T is pleased with the deal because adding T-Mobile’s subscribers to its user base will make it the largest mobile carrier in the U.S., and will give the company all of T-Mobile’s wireless spectrum, too.
“At closing, AT&T will immediately gain cell sites equivalent to what would have taken on average five years to build without the transaction, and double that in some markets,” AT&T said.