AT&T and T Mobile Have a Moral Right to Merge


Top of the AT&T BuildingIn a recent op-ed at Forbes.com, Joan Lappin decries the merger of AT&T and T Mobile, and calls for the FCC to prevent it. Her “justification” is that if “ATT was denied the right to merge with T Mobile, T Mo might instead merge with Sprint,” which she claims “would be great for all of us.”

First, there is no such thing as a a right to “den[y] the right to merge”; the right to merge is an aspect of the right to use one’s property as one sees fit, so long as one does not violate the rights of others. Second, to deny the right to merge would not “be great for all of us”; it would be another strike against individual rights—which would be bad for all of us.

AT&T and T Mobile are owned not by “all of us” but by certain individuals who therefore have a moral right to merge their companies if they so choose. Whether to merge their companies is morally no one’s business but their own, and it is in all our best interests to recognize this moral fact.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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