Microsoft, Facebook, RIM, and others write to the FCC in support of AT&T-Mobile merger
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has mail. It’s only a page and a paragraph long, but the letter he’s received this week has much gravitas attached to it, coming as it does from a select group of the tech industry’s biggest companies, all of whom are lending their support to AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. Of the eight new proponents of the deal, Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo form a sub-group of software / web content distributors, whereas Qualcomm, RIM, Avaya, Brocade, and Oracle will have been motivated to speak up because they see the takeover as expanding opportunities to sell their mobile and networking hardware. The entire octet agrees that the melding of AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks into one is a requisite move for broadening mobile broadband availability in the US and for keeping the country competitive with the rest of the world. In their words, “an increasingly robust and efficient wireless network is part of a virtuous innovation cycle.” Virtuous for them, perhaps, but what about consumers faced with an increasingly binary choice of mobile carrier? Who shall protect their virtue?