Alternative Winners & Losers From the AT&T and T-Mobile Deal

March 22nd, 2011 by · 1 Comment

I've seen a few articles lately looking at who the winners and losers are if the AT&T/T-Mobile comes to fruition, and I'd like to throw in a few more on both sides that nobody's talking about:

Winners (Other than AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, and Verizon/Vodafone):

  • MetroPCS and LEAP - While everyone is harping on how Sprint will find it impossible to compete because they're too small, some of the even smaller competition actually will probably see a bump. The refugees from #4 who don't like AT&T may be numerous enough to help boost growth at #5, #6, #7 etc.  If Goliath is 14 feet tall rather than 12 feet tall, it doesn't really change the essence of competition for the smaller Davids out there.
  • Lobbyists, Politicians, and Lawyers - A pro-business mega-merger reconstituting more of Ma Bell whose regulatory review coincides with the beginning of a presidential election cycle?  You can hear them sharpening their tongues from the moon.  Well, actually these guys don't 'win' or 'lose' if the deal goes through, the battle itself is their victory.
  • Communications Workers of America - T-Mobile isn't a union shop, and AT&T has their support because they can bring it into the fold.  More dues, and an AT&T that needs a rather unorthodox ally politically to help get this through - let's find something to renegotiate now haha.

Losers (Other than Sprint, LightSquared, and consumers):

  • Independent backhaul providers - I harped on this yesterday.
  • LTE equipment providers - One less national backbone to supply equipment for.  Sure, bandwidth requirements can go nowhere but up - but fewer buyers have more leverage on pricing.
  • Smartphone makers - The fewer providers there are out there, the harder it is to play one off the others when it comes to the newest tech.  Yep, I'm saying Apple's leverage probably will go down a notch on future iPhones.

Any others?  Leave a comment, and I'll add the best to the list.

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Categories: Mergers and Acquisitions · Wireless

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