Put a Fork In the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger, It’s Done

I spent most of last week on the road, due to a death in the family. And, on a road trip that involved lots of bad caffeine, swearing, and discovering absolutely nowhere south of the Mason Dixon gets a 3G signal, there was one ray of light: The Department of Justice telling AT&T it can’t take T-Mobile behind the high school and feel it up.

Yesterday, Sprint decided it was done talking and actually took legal action, suing to stop the merger. And the FCC has also weighed in — they still have to approve the deal in the first place, and before all this, they piped up with some “serious concerns.” Now? The chairman himself has pointed out they’ve never approved a merger the DOJ has challenged in court.

In short, it’s over. T-Mobile is dead either way: Deutsche Telekom was selling it because they don’t think they can compete in the American market. The most likely scenario is AT&T buys some of its assets and the rest goes to somebody getting into the market. Either way, AT&T is in real trouble: Sprint getting the iPhone next month is pretty much a certainty, meaning they’ll have a competitor offering their preferred phone on a stronger network with an actual unlimited data plan.

Yeah, now would be a good time to consider ditching AT&T if you haven’t already: service might be taking a real dive in a few months.