For more than a decade, the United States has fallen behind nearly every other developed economy on broadband speed and build-out. Against this backdrop, AT&T has proposed to buy T-Mobile. After acquisition, AT&T promises to invest an additional $8 billion (over and above their annual $19 billion capital expenditures) to build out a next-generation high-speed wireless network to 97% of Americans.
Opponents of the deal contend that the transaction would increase market concentration and would hurt consumers through reduced competition, leading to higher prices and less innovation. Supporters argue that the capital intensive telecommunications market can support only a limited number of players, and that by buying T-Mobile, AT&T can increase broadband build-out, deliver better service to consumers and grow the number of good, union jobs in the telecommunications industry.