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C Spire CEO annoyed that failed mergers are forcing them to compete on price
Since AT&T failed to purchase T-Mobile, the wireless industry has been forced to deal with T-Mobile’s new vision. This vision includes getting one of the most stubborn industries to drop prices, shorten upgrade periods and kill off early termination fees. Basically, customers have benefited tremendously from the failed merger.
Recently, Sprint was unsuccessful in getting approval from regulators for a merger with T-Mobile. Sprint has since gotten a new CEO who has taken a page from T-Mobile in the fight for new customers. In the last few weeks, Sprint has unveiled their own iPhone deals, updated their device trade-in deals, launched a new leasing program and offered unlimited talk, text and data for $50 a month (with specific devices). Again, customers have benefited from a failed merger.
So, it came as a bit of a surprise to see C Spire Wireless CEO Hu Meena recently claim at the Competitive Carriers Association conference that Sprint abandoning their merger with T-Mobile had set back competition in the U.S. wireless market.
According to Meena, a Sprint/T-Mobile company would have allowed smaller carriers “to bring true competition to the marketplace.” Meena also claimed that wireless carriers had resorted to competing primarily on price and the “only innovation you see is how low our rates can go.”
I can see why wireless carriers would hate the idea of customers having reasonably priced choices for their wireless needs. Nevermind that even with these recent price cuts, wireless customers in the United States continue paying some of the highest prices in the world.
Additionally, when will wireless CEO’s learn that less competition does not equal anything good for consumers? Historically, consolidation with major players doesn’t work in the consumer’s favor. Not even close.
As PCWorld noted when Sprint and T-Mobile announced a merger:
Benefits get over-promised, problems get minimized. According to the companies involved, mergers improve service, lower prices, increase profits, and maintain competition all the while ………. In any case, you just shouldn’t believe what wireless companies say when they’re touting the benefits of a merger. – PCWorld