The proposed mega-merger marriage between telecom giants AT&T and T-Mobile USA is over.
Ma Bell’s hopes of returning to number one on the wireless carrier leaderboard were overturned yesterday after months of backroom bickering that spilled out onto front pages and blogs around the country.
While approval of the bid was initially promising, the plans were roundly criticized by angry rivals, consumer advocates, the FCC and the Obama Justice Department.
Reaction from AT&T’s Mississippi office has so far been muted. “AT&T will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO in a Tuesday press release.
Ridgeland-based C Spire Wireless was at least one rival that disapproved of and had legally opposed the merger along with Sprint Wireless. In a statement, Sprint government affairs vice-president Vonya McCann said, “This is the right decision for consumers, competition and innovation in the wireless industry.”
C Spire representative Dave Miller wouldn’t comment on AT&T’s decision.
C Spire CEO Hu Meena, who currently heads up the Rural Cellular Association trade group, told MBJ earlier this year that the merger could set the industry up for a “duopolistic” market shared by Verizon Wireless and AT&T that would muscle out smaller carriers.