IDT, a mobile virtual network operator partner of T-Mobile USA, has formally filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission that oppose AT&T's (NYSE:T) $39 billion pending acquisition of T-Mobile. IDT vice chairman James Courter said in the filing that "the merger would cause excessive consolidation in the mobile services marketplace and make it impossible for smaller, entrepreneurial companies such as IDT to compete."
IDT is one of several MVNOs that launched during the past decade to target the growing demographic of Hispanic mobile users. It offers pre-paid service under the TuYo brand. Courter said in the filing that AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile could jeopardize IDT's GSM resale deal with T-Mobile because it would "create two super-companies that would dominate the market to the detriment of low-income people who rely upon the availability of low-cost resellers such as TuYo Mobile. AT&T has not committed to making wholesale spectrum available to MVNOs in its application to acquire T-Mobile, and AT&T does not have a favorable track record in providing wholesale access to its spectrum."
The filing also noted that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger would take one of only two GSM-based networks in the U.S. out of the wholesale game.
IDT has accused T-Mobile of anti-competitive behavior in the past, alleging that T-Mobile threatened to cut off service to third-party retail outlets if they didn't stop selling TuYo Mobile services.
- here's IDT's FCC filing
T-Mobile posted a big subscriber drop in the second quarter
AT&T announced in March that it would acquire T-Mobile
MVNOs have been a rare source of subscriber gains for T-Mobile