I noted in a post on Monday that at least one major retailer – Radio Shack – sees vibrant competition in the wireless market, selling the services of 9 “top carriers” to consumers nationally:
Cellular South, which is suing to stop the AT&T merger, sees 12 “major carriers” in the wireless marketplace.
Sprint, which is also suing to block the merger, found 18 choices important enough to list in its merger complaint:
- U.S. Cellular
- Cellular South
- Cincinnati Bell
- Alaska Communications
- Atlantic Telenetwork
- Virgin Mobile
- Assurance Wireless
But the DoJ seemingly believes that only the “Big Four” (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) matter, essentially stripping all other options out of the competitive picture. In the DoJ’s view, consumers and the numerous (non-Big Four) choices that have materialized to serve them mean little – average consumers don’t affect competition and choice. Only big competitors do.
Curious, this definition. Does the consumer purchasing the “lesser choices” know that he / she has made no choice at all (as viewed by the bureaucrats at the DoJ)?
Perhaps they should call the DoJ from one of those non-Big Four choices they’ve made to disabuse the agency of that notion?