Facebook joined a group of companies urging the Federal Communications Commission to approve the T-Mobile/AT&T merger, reports said today.
Although Facebook seemingly would have no stake in the matter, the tech company along with Microsoft, Yahoo, Research in Motion, Oracle and others, signed a letter sent to the FCC in support of the merger, the Washington Post reported. The groups want a larger cell network and LTE wireless service, PCMag reported. From the letter:
Many policy related efforts will not be able to quickly address near term capacity needs. The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it. . . .An increasingly robust and efficient wireless network is part of a virtuous innovation cycle and a healthy wireless ecosystem is an important part of our global competitiveness. . . . AT&T has stated that its LTE deployment will bring significant benefits to residents of rural areas and smaller communities, where the benefits of real-time video and similar capabilities are most urgently needed to fill gaps in physical infrastructure for healthcare, education, and other social needs.
Last week, Sprint Nextel asked the FCC to block the merger -- not surprising since it's a competitor -- citing that AT&T has plentiful wireless spectrum to exploit and doesn't need more.
Whether this letter was an attempt to get the FCC to ignore Sprint's objections, we don't know. However, you could make an argument that it's a convenient time to get tech companies to jump on the T-Mobile merger bandwagon. Facebook and the other companies have nothing to lose if AT&T gets bigger, it simply changes the name of the carrier that powers their software, platform or devices.