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Archive for Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sprint, Cellular South executives warn against AT&T, T-Mobile merger at Senate hearing

May 11, 2011

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— Top executives from AT&T and T-Mobile USA are facing off against top officials from Sprint Nextel and Cellular South on Capitol Hill as lawmakers consider whether AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile would produce better mobile service for consumers or crush competition in the wireless industry.

AT&T President and Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday that the combination would lead to fewer dropped and blocked calls and faster mobile Internet connections for subscribers by allowing AT&T and T-Mobile to combine their limited wireless spectrum holdings.

But Sprint Nextel Chief Executive Daniel Hesse warned that if federal regulators approve the deal, the wireless industry would regress to "a 1980s-style duopoly" dominated by AT&T and Verizon — with smaller carriers like Sprint struggling to compete.

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