AT&T Argues That More Competition Is Bad For You & Leads To Higher Prices
from the economics-free-zone dept
Apparently AT&T-land is a place where basic economics doesn't apply. AT&T boss Randall Stephenson, still hurt from the rejection of his attempted merger with T-Mobile, is telling the world that greater competition means higher prices and less efficient markets. That this goes against nearly all understanding of economics seems like an important point that would be worth bringing up to Stephenson, but apparently the reporters present didn't bother. In particular, he claims that AT&T had to increase its data rates by 30% because it doesn't own T-Mobile. That makes no sense, but okay. Then he claims that competition makes things less efficient:
"The more competitors you have, the less efficient the allocation of spectrum will be," he said. "It's got to change. I don't think the market's going to accommodate the number of competitors there are in the landscape."This is how a monopolist argues: if we controlled everything, why things would be much more efficient. He's seriously arguing that the fact that they have to compete for resources means that they can't get the same level of monopoly rents. Yeah, that's called capitalism, where you actually have to compete in the market. I mean, I'm sure UPS hates that it has to share the roads with Fedex (so inefficient), but it's actually good for the consumers to have real competition. Apparently, though, AT&T has a different point of view.