Against Duopoly: the U.S. Should Block Takeover

Ms. Wynter, Mr. Medina, and Ms. Wood at the Debate

The Society met on October 20 to consider the question Resolved: the United States Should Block the Takeover of T-mobile by AT&T.

Mr. Gavin Bade and Mr. Kent Carlson, making his induction, spoke on the affirmation. Mr. Michael Manchester and Ms. Heather Regen, making her induction, spoke on the negation.

Mr. Bade began by arguing that AT&T is not investing in infrastructure to increase service, and that the takeover is an example of classic corporate greed.  He then invoked a common (and ne’er defined) word of the evening: spectrum.  [Amanuensian Note: Spectrum is a term referring to a  range of radio frequencies that communications companies use to transmit data.  These companies can buy rights to different ranges of spectrum from the government, or, in this case, consume a smaller company that has rights to other spectrum.]  Ms. Regen focused on the scientific and technological impact of the proposed takeover, arguing that it would result in greater technological innovation, especially in rural America.  Mr. Carlson focused on the social and political implications of the takeover, arguing that it will not encourage innovation and endangers the American Dream.  Mr. Manchester asserted that duoopolies have helped America, and that “T-Mobile has rolled over is waiting to die.”

Mr. Miller argued that AT&T is attempting to lie about the facts of the deal.  Ms. Marki countered her mentee by arguing that America is built on the idea that the biggest guy should come out on top.  In an attempt to redirect debate, a common theme of the evening, Ms. Wood discussed the effects of the takeover on innovation.  Ms. Anais Carmona (SFS ’14) asserted that we shouldn’t baby competitors, and allow the free market to prevail.  Closing the floor debate with his typical pizazz, Mr. Spagnuolo contended that “our generation has to pay for the hippie burnout CEOs,” and that these companies outsource jobs abroad anyway, and thus we should not support the claims that the takeover will create more jobs.

The Society voted to affirm the resolution 35-29-5.

Mr. David Edgar (SFS ’15) and Mr. Andrew Carter (SFS ’13)were selected by the keynoters as the best speakers of the evening.

The Society inducted Ms. Regen and Mr. Carlson with much jubilation.  Huzah!


Peter A. Prindiville





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