AT&T has found an unlikely supporter of its proposed merger with T-Mobile in its biggest rival, Verizon Wireless.
Verizon Communications CEO, Lowell McAdam, suggested that the $39 billion acquisition should be approved for the benefit of American consumers. Comparing the merger to “gravity”, the CEO told a room of investors at a conference yesterday that the deal had to happen due to T-Mobile’s large spectrum but lacking capital and AT&T’s need for an increased range to properly serve their customers.
While the fusion of the nation’s second and third largest wireless carriers would supply AT&T with enough subscribers to surpass Verizon’s numbers, McAdam urged that this is the only option to solve the current spectrum crunch. The CEO noted that he told the Federal Communications Commission and other government officials that blocking AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would ultimately harm American consumers.
Though Verizon may have hopped on AT&T’s bandwagon, Sprint and Cellular South are still against the proposed takeover. Sprint filed a complaint in federal court on Sept. 6 to block the merger, a week after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to prevent the buyout. On Monday, Sept. 19, Cellular South filed an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T. The suit claims that AT&T and Verizon have grown to become the nation’s two largest networks by absorbing other carriers and have therefore increased market share steadily, while other operators struggle to maintain market share.