AT&T just got a big fine for it's past actions trying to force customers out of their grandfathered Unlimited data plans:
AT&T Fined $100 for Throttling Customers
Now, it's important to remember, these are long time AT&T customers. They're people who bought original iPhone (long before it became popular) and have stuck with AT&T's marginal service through thick and thin for one main reason, they liked the idea of unlimited data. And AT&T has done everything they can to try to punish them for not accepting a pay-per-bit data. And guess what, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon would love to take these customers away.
This is just part of a pattern with AT&T management which is completely focused on their own unobtainable goal of resurrecting a 1950's monopoly over phone service rather than serving customers in 2015 America. It isn't working, it's hurting the company. The efforts to buy out and shut down T-Mobile simply made it stronger with huge infusion of billions of dollars of AT&T money, money that could have gone to improving AT&T service, but is now being used to improve T-Mobile service.
Sure, AT&T has limited monopoly powers in certain areas where other companies can't provide good enough coverage. They have monopoly power over local hard wire access in some areas (which they have generally abused by not investing in improvements). But AT&T's abuse of these limited monopoly markets have only convinced customers, business and the government that no one wants to give AT&T any more control over the market than it already has. It's losing almost every regulatory battle these days. No one is going to approve any big mergers that give it more power. People are fed up with a company that takes customers for granted.
AT&T execs tried to convince the world that "unlimited" data plans weren't technically and financially possible. It was a lie, it didn't work, and T-Mobile and Sprint (as well as just about every international company) offer them. Customers love them. Unlimited is the future.
AT&T, give up on your war against Unlimited. You already lost. Stop assuming you can force customers to do business the way you want, and start listening to what they want. Because whether you like it or not, you have real competition in the world, and better be ready to compete.