re: AT&T-T-Mobile Wrangling: What A Waste
AT&T is no saint though they are no worse than Verizon either. They are just a favorite demon for some reason. But let's get real here. One way or the other T-Mobile is most likely going away. DT may well have been planning an assets firesale if AT&T had not come a'courting. Had their been such a sale, customers would have dispersed but those who really want GSM--which includes me--would likely have gone to AT&T. AT&T would likely have bid on some spectrum as well. How different is that from what will come to pass if the merger is allowed to happen with some reasonable constraints?
The main whiner is Sprint and they hardly qualify as disinterested. As a leader on price point they might be the main beneficiaries if T-Mobile dissolves so they've got skin in that game.
Whatever their motives in courting union support, AT&T does plan to onshore a significant number of non-menial jobs in a desperate economy if the deal goes through.
Scuttling the deal probably does not rescue T-Mobile--though the breakup payment would help it--and it would deeply harm AT&T at this point. How does that have a downward influence on prices, job stability, or long term of retaining many options for consumers?
Finally the notion of a duopoly with inevitable price rises is far from proven. It's a theory, just like supply side economics. (How's that one working out for us?) In fact there are vibrant regional carriers and some might see an opportunity to expand, maybe acquire some T-Mo customers and/or spectrum. Speaking from experience, AT&T might well grandfather in those with existing T-Mobile plans.
Once again the "right" answer is to find the sweet spot. Let the free market do it's think, but insist upon some boundaries and protections for the consumer. Problem is that finding that middle ground is almost always the most difficult route.