Sprint.com

May 11, 2011

CORRECTING and REPLACING Sprint CEO Dan Hesse Addresses Negative Impact Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Will Have on Consumers, Innovation and the Economy

Argues That Takeover Will Create a Duopoly, Providing “Twin Bells” with Control of Approximately 80 Percent of Wireless Industry Revenues

WASHINGTON (BUSINESS WIRE), May 11, 2011 - In contact box of release, the phone number should read: 571-437-4685 (sted 517-437-4685).

The corrected release reads:

SPRINT CEO DAN HESSE ADDRESSES NEGATIVE IMPACT PROPOSED AT&T/T-MOBILE MERGER WILL HAVE ON CONSUMERS, INNOVATION AND THE ECONOMY

Argues That Takeover Will Create a Duopoly, Providing “Twin Bells” with Control of Approximately 80 Percent of Wireless Industry Revenues

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse testified today before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, voicing opposition to the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T. In his testimony, Hesse contrasted the current vibrant competitive wireless industry which benefits the American consumer against a vision of what would result from recreating a 1980s-style duopoly.

“The wireless industry thrives on competition, which, in turn, drives investment, innovation, consumer choice, job creation and U.S. global leadership in wireless communications,” said Mr. Hesse. “If AT&T is permitted to devour one of the two remaining independent national wireless carriers, while the rest of the world achieves advances in technology and innovation for the 21st century, the U.S. will go backwards toward last century’s Ma Bell.”

Mr. Hesse noted that duopolistic control of the wireless market, which this takeover threatens to create, will provide AT&T and Verizon approximately 80 percent of the market, creating irreparable harm to:

  • Pricing: Controlling approximately 80 percent of the market would give the Twin Bells significant, unchecked leverage to increase prices for consumers for voice and data.
  • Last Mile Access: Control of most of our nation’s vast wireline infrastructure and the critical “last mile” offers the duopolists the ability to raise competitors’ costs, reduce their network quality and quash competitive alternatives.
  • Choice: Next-generation smartphone and tablet manufacturers would be discouraged from partnering with any company other than AT&T or Verizon because of their massive scale, limiting choice to consumers and opportunity for manufacturers.
  • Innovation: Content and application developers would lack incentive to create content for companies other than the Twin Bells, diminishing innovation and harming developers as well as the capital markets that fund them.

Moreover, Mr. Hesse disputed AT&T’s claims relating to spectrum constraints and rural reach. AT&T has been warehousing its largest, most desirable spectrum holdings rather than deploying them to solve its customer needs. Moreover, T-Mobile’s congested spectrum won’t give AT&T the relief it claims to need. AT&T’s rural reach will similarly not improve markedly with the addition of T-Mobile since T-Mobile extends AT&T’s reach to only 1 percent more of the population.

Mr. Hesse concluded the hearing, which the committee titled “The AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Is Humpty Dumpty Being Put Back Together Again?”, by noting that the fundamental problems of a duopoly cannot be fixed with divestitures or conditions, and urged the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to reject the merger.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 51 million customers at the end of 1Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

Contact(s):

Sprint
John Taylor, 571-437-4685
john.b.taylor@sprint.com


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