FCC says wireless market is ‘concentrated’

CNET reports that the Federal Communications Commission warned May 20 in a new report that the wireless industry is becoming more concentrated. In its annual report on competition, the FCC reversed years of findings that the market is competitive. The report didn’t say that the market is not competitive, rather that it has become more concentrated over recent years. Specifically, the FCC said since 2003, market concentration has increased 32 percent. The report indicates that 60 percent of the nation’s subscribers and revenue come from the country’s two largest wireless providers: AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The FCC noted that these companies are continuing to gain customers as other national operators, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA, have been losing subscribers. AT&T expressed concern over the results. “For six successive reports, the FCC has confirmed what is obvious to any consumer who watches television, walks down a busy main street or reads a newspaper–that the wireless market is intensely competitive, with new choices in services, applications, and devices available almost weekly,” Robert Quinn, AT&T senior vice president of regulatory affairs said in a statement. “That’s why it’s so disappointing that this FCC seems reluctant to acknowledge the market’s success. Even more baffling is that it is contradicting its own evidence, and the evidence of our own eyes. The U.S. wireless market is working, delivering choices and value…”

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