Verizon has no objections to AT&T/T-Mobile merger
Leading US Carrier Verizon Wireless has no concerns over the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, as long as it does not result in increased industry regulation. The company’s CFO Fran Shammo made the revelation to a Morgan Stanley conference in Spain last week, according to a report by Rethink-Wireless.
Shammo admitted that he did feel that the US wireless carrier industry did need consolidation, but not at the expense of increased interference from US regulator the FCC.
The FCC is currently debating the proposed $39bn merger, and has raised the ire of other players in the market such as number three US carrier Sprint Nextel, and also the US Department of Justice, which claimed that the deal would “substantially lessen competition”.
For its part AT&T has said that if the merger goes through it would create 5,000 jobs, though Sprint has countered with a report that claimed that this was unfounded.
AT&T wants to merge with the struggling T-Mobile USA, owned by Deutsche Telecom, in order to gain access to its wireless spectrum and improve its LTE spectrum coverage. The move would make it the largest player in the US market.
Verizon Wireless currently offers LTE in 179 cities markets, covering a population of 186 million, compared to just 15 markets for AT&T. It said it plans to cover 70 million people with LTE by the end of the year.
At the conference Shammo also said that Verizon wants to see changes in the device eco-system, no doubt as a response to the growing power of the device OS manufactures, namely Apple and Google. This would mean welcoming a third player in the market, most likely Nokia’s Windows Phone powered devices, with RIM’s Blackberry struggling to retain market share.