The nightmare is over. Or, hopes and dreams have been crushed. Really, it depends on what side of the argument you fell on but, as of now, it is moot: AT&T and T-Mobile have dropped their $39 billion merger bid and will remain two separate, unaffiliated companies.
The competition will rejoice. Sprint, in particular, comes off as a big winner and CEO Dan Hesse will be vindicated for his crusade against the merger all year. Verizon, which took a “don’t look at us, we are just watching the circus” approach, probably does not benefit from its failure. AT&T had set aside $4 billion in breakup fees that it now needs to pay Deutsche Telecom, the owners of T-Mobile. So, the biggest loser here is AT&T. The company would also like consumers to believe they are the losers as well.