By Steven Pearlstein – Such behavior by the industry giants can be found in almost every industry, of course, but over the years it has proven to be particularly effective in telecom, where there are huge efficiencies and other advantages that flow from being big. These scale advantages are the reason there has been so much consolidation in the industry over the past 20 years, why AT&T is willing to pay $39 billion to buy what it claims is a struggling competitor, and why, if it succeeds, Verizon will try to regain the top position by buying No. 3 Sprint.
The situation was much the same in 1913 when, in response to the first antitrust suit against AT&T, President Theodore Vail convinced the Justice Department that the phone business was a natural monopoly and that AT&T ought to be it, under government regulation. Today, there is probably competitive headroom for AT&T, Verizon and maybe one other firm in the market for wireless voice and data services, at least until the next technological breakthrough comes along. more> http://twurl.nl/d283zk