Ina Fried

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Sprint Files Its Long List of Objections to AT&T-T-Mobile Deal With FCC

Sprint, which has already been quite vocal and emphatic about its opposition to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, on Tuesday filed its formal objections with the Federal Communications Commission.

The “petition to deny,” a lengthy PDF document focuses on Sprint’s contentions that the deal will hurt competition and innovation.

“This proposed takeover puts our mobile broadband future at a crossroads,” said Vonya B. McCann, senior vice president of Government Affairs for Sprint. “We can choose the open, competitive road best traveled, and protect American consumers, innovation and our economy, or we can choose the dead end that merely protects only AT&T and leads the rest of us back down the dirt road to Ma Bell.”

Though the arguments are familiar, the filing is important, as the Federal Communications Commission is one of two U.S. agencies that must approve the transaction. (The other is the Department of Justice.)

Other bodies are also looking into the deal, including Congress and a couple of state public utility commissions.

An AT&T spokesperson offered this response to filing: “Strong support for the AT&T-T-Mobile merger has been voiced by dozens of community, civic and minority organizations, 11 governors, multiple labor unions and several members of Congress. We anticipate additional support for the transaction from more voices who recognize the tremendous benefits for the economy, innovation and public policy associated with bringing high-speed wireless broadband deployment to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population–nearly 55 million more Americans than our pre-merger plans–and improving call quality and network performance for consumers.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work