Well, it looks like the Department of Justice agrees.
Yesterday, the DOJ filed a complaint to block the takeover, stating that it violates antitrust law.
Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, sums up the issue nicely: “We feel the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers across the U.S. facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower-quality products for wireless services.”
Of course AT&T’s not too happy with the news. But other carriers must be rejoicing, right?
Well, maybe not all of them.
You see, Wall Street is failing to realize that there’s another player in the mix – one that could also benefit from consumers having “fewer choices.” And so far, investors haven’t caught on…
Sprint’s Catching Up to the Pack
When AT&T first revealed its plan to acquire T-Mobile, Sprint’s (NYSE: S) shares fell 14% overnight.
And once investors thought the deal was off yesterday morning, its shares blasted up 10%.
But Sprint’s fate doesn’t necessarily rest on a failed acquisition. Investors are overlooking the possibility that Sprint could actually benefit from AT&T inking a deal with T-Mobile.
After all, there are signs pointing to the company soon becoming a solid contender in the mobile networking space. And it’s quietly beginning to edge out the competition in several key areas…
Edge #1: Unlimited Data
Sprint’s the only major carrier left that offers unlimited data. All other major carriers – including T-Mobile – have initiated tiered plans. Meaning you either need to pay extra for higher-level data bundles, or the carrier significantly reduces network speeds once you reach your monthly limit.
Edge #2: NFC Capabilities
Sprint’s the only carrier that has NFC technology in a smartphone. And the company plans to “continually integrate [NFC] and work with OEM partners… to make sure this technology works on all devices.” So consumers wanting to use their smartphones as a mobile wallet – with the added security that NFC chips offer – have no other option.
Edge #3: Google Partnership
Sprint’s positioning itself to capitalize on Google’s success. It was the first to carry an Android 4G device and offer seamless Google Voice integration. Not to mention it has officially teamed up with Google in order to roll out the tech giant’s Wallet application.
Edge #4: The 4G Leader
Sprint’s also taking major steps to outpace Verizon and AT&T in the race to deliver 4G LTE speeds to its subscribers. It partnered with LightSquared in July, giving it the ability to acquire half of the broadband provider’s 4G network capacity. Plus, Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Sprint’s looking to purchase 4G network provider, Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR).
So you can see, as the T-Mobile-AT&T situation unfolds, Sprint could quickly become the best choice for consumers and investors alike.
Bottom line: Sprint’s positioning itself as a solid contender in the mobile networking grudge match. And no matter what Wall Street thinks, its success as a company doesn’t depend on AT&T failing to acquire T-Mobile. In fact, if the deal’s approved, it would only drive more consumers into Sprint’s welcoming, and well equipped, arms.