Sprint's Crony Socialist Hypocrisy

Sprint's Crony Socialist Hypocrisy
March 24, 2014

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)

Crony Socialism is, in part, the government cutting special deals for certain  companies – at the  expense of other companies, and the free market.

It is particularly pathetic when companies publicly troll for this treatment.  It’s  almost as if they’ve given up on actually, you know, trying.

Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and other smaller carriers are already  lobbying [Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler]. 

In a letter to Wheeler on Thursday, the companies’ top  executives…urged Wheeler to adopt rules for the (spectrum) auctions that  would ensure “that the two dominant wireless incumbents not be allowed to lock  competitive carriers out of acquiring…spectrum.

But — it’s an auction. Everyone bids, and the best bids win. Everyone  has equal access. Problem preemptively solved. Except that’s not what these guys  mean. More from their begging letter:

“To be clear, none of us has ever suggested excluding the largest two  carriers from theauction.

Oh — good.

“Reasonable spectrum-aggregation limits, however…

Oh — wait. So they do want the government to exclude some companies  from freely bidding in the auction. Maybe they should have written “Let  us be clear” instead.

“More competition, in turn, means more jobs, more investment , faster  innovation, and more economic growth in America. Competition will also enable  the Commission to maintain its ‘light-touch’ regulatory approach to the wireless  industry.” 

Absolutely. But no one’s going to go out of business as a result  of this auction. There’ll be just as many competitors after as before.

However, the whole debate over spectrum aggregation limits will largely be  a moot point if the FCC can’t persuade enough broadcasters to give up their  spectrum for auction in the first place.

A great way to ensure that not enough broadcasters participate? Have the  government limit the number of bidders — and thus the coin to be garnered by the  broadcasters. Exactly what these crony socialist companies are asking for.

Obviously not satisfied by all this is Masayoshi Son, the President of  SoftBank — Sprint’s parent company.  While seeking to have the government fetter in  his favor the auction, Son is simultaneously looking for unfettered government  approval of Sprint’s purchase of T-Mobile.

But wait — what about all that high-minded talk of the importance of  competition in his letter?  Son wants the government to approve his merger  – meaning there will be one less  competitor.

“I’d like to provide an alternative,” Son said in the  speech.

You already do, Mr. Son — Sprint. What you  actually want to do is provide one less alternative, by taking T-Mobile off the board.

At an earnings briefing last month, for example, Son deflected questions  about a possible Sprint/T-Mobile deal. “What I can say is that the  United States’ mobile industry is not  competitive.

Again, the merger will mean one less competitor.

I am not saying I’m opposed to the Sprint-T-Mobile merger — I am saying I’m  opposed to Son’s crony socialism-riddled hypocrisy.

In 2011, AT&T wanted to purchase the very same T-Mobile Son’s Sprint now  seeks to acquire.

Sprint Reminds Us It Didn’t Want  AT&T-T-Mobile Merger

In a statement released today, Sprint  thanked departing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for his service and for  blocking AT&T’s 2011 bid for T-Mobile.”

Oh – and there was a spectrum auction just last year:

Sorry, Not Interested: Sprint Bows Out of the PCS  Spectrum Auction

Get that? Sprint bailed on the last one — but now wants the government to rig  this one for them.

According to Son and Sprint, when the government can mess with your  competitors, it’s all good — and they ask for it. When the government can impede  you, they demand we all let the free market reign. Regulate thee, not me.

Crony Socialism epitomized.

 

[Originally published at Daily Caller]

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)