The head of the US Justice Department’s (DOJ) antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, declined on Friday, June 1, to support the Obama administration’s firm backing of the need for four US wireless carriers, reported Bloomberg.
The law and market economics will be the crucial factors, Delrahim said Friday, answering whether the US would now allow the number of major players in mobile phone service to shrink to three from four now.
“I don’t think there’s any magical number that I’m smart enough to glean about any single market,” he told reporters following a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
Delrahim’s comment echoes the position taken by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai last year and marks a reversal of the stand that regulators outlined under the Obama administration. Their insistence on a four-player market made a potential Sprint/T-Mobile merger a non-starter in 2014.
The DOJ still must weigh the potential impact of allowing a merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the No. 3 and No. 4 players, against having two smaller players battle on price and features against giants like Verizon Communications and AT&T.
Full Content: Bloomberg