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Clearwire says AT&T merger a 'huge challenge to competition'

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Thu March 24, 2011

Clearwire CEO objects to ATT T-Mobile merger

Clearwire's new chief John Stanton in an interview Thursday voiced his objection to the proposed AT&T buyout of T-Mobile. He cast the company's potential 79 percent control of subscription customers in the US as a "huge challenge to competition." Device exclusivity was already a problem with AT&T, such as its recently ended iPhone exclusive, and could only get worse if the carrier had that much more clout, the CEO told the WSJ.

The iPhone deal ended up "stepping on the air hose of T-Mobile" by denying that carrier a fair chance at one of the more popular devices on the network, Stanton said. Customers on T-Mobile so far will only have their first chance at an official iPhone if the merger is approved.

Clearwire was directly impacted by the proposed AT&T takeover as it was rumored to be selling spectrum to T-Mobile to help get out of debt and fund its WiMAX network expansion. Stanton wanted to avoid an "ugly" bankruptcy that ceded control but now had to once again focus on Sprint for help.

AT&T has maintained that the merger would be a net positive by improving capacity for both of the joining carriers. It would also give T-Mobile users a clearer route to LTE-based 4G instead of 42Mbps or 84Mbps 3G. Clearwire's partner Sprint, however, publicly lambasted AT&T at the CTIA spring keynote, arguing it would put far too much power in one carrier's hands.

FCC officials may end up siding with Clearwire, Sprint, and other competitors. At least one agency worker has already said it would likely change with either conditions or, in the most extreme case, a rejection. AT&T is confident it will go through but has budgeted in a year to get approval and close the takeover.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bite me, Clearwire

    While I'm not a fan of the AT&T deal, Clearwire's service is just c***. It worked fine for me for a few months, but after a while they started throttling service.

    Who cares if they don't like the deal?

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011


    comment title

    Your kidding, right? Clearwire, when you get SIM cards and stop monopolozing your products, then you can complain about others anti-competitiveness. But right now you are the most pathetic monopoly in the world, trying to ruin the the 4G standard with your SIMless c***.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    is the way of the future.

    As soon as Apple eliminates the SIM from the iPhone and builds it within the hardware, GSM as we know it will collapse. Thanks Apple.

    -- Sent from my Android Device.

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