Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
There's rejoicing in the hills.
There's celebration in the valleys.
Well, where anyone can hear each other, that is.
It's been a greater on-off relationship than, well, those actors who always seem so right for each other and then go and make a mess of the whole thing.
Over and over again.
Yet T-Mobile and Sprint are finally getting hitched.
Sadly, the combined company won't be called T-Sprint. Not SprinT-mobile.
Instead, the Sprint brand, one that represented tired and cheap, is disappearing.
Which only reminds me of US Airways.
Remember that tired old brand? One that got swallowed by American Airlines? Actually, the latter is still in the digestive process, four years after the merger.
I can't help thinking, you see, that the phone carrier business is now, more than ever before, just like the airline business.
Less than a handful of very big companies own the majority of the U.S. network and each with precious little incentive to compete with the others.
For a short time there, T-Mobile donned a maverick's cape and insisted it was the Un-Carrier.
But it only did this because its attempted merger with AT&T failed.
Yes, it's amusing to watch long-haired, T-Mobile CEO John Legere -- who always looks like the long-haired attendee at a Hall & Oates concert in the 90s -- excoriating competitors such as Verizon for their alleged arrogance and complacency.
It's true that Verizon and AT&T are a lot like American Airlines and United. Vast, slow profiteers who just want to get vaster and more profitable.
For a short time there, T-Mobile tried to don the mantle of Virgin America or JetBlue -- human-facing brands that at least claim to care about customers.
But can that continue?
The merger appears to call for two separate headquarters. Well, that ought to be a recipe for seamlessness and customer service.
The mere fact of merging, though, surely indicates that this is about size and very little else.
Yes, the merged company is already insisting that the merger will create jobs. When has that ever been true of a merger?
Instead, we're going from four carriers to three. And worse, the two merging ones don't even use the same technology for their networks.
T-Mobile is on the older GSM. Sprint is on the newer CDMA.
Oh, please imagine the logistical issues of getting everyone finally onto the T-Mobile network. It'll be just as entertaining as the finest airline merger.
How often is it that reducing the number of competitors means more competition?
Look at airlines. With the big four owning 81 percent of all U.S. airline seats, have you ever noticed the remarkable -- and surely coincidental -- similarity in pricing that often seems to prevail among them?
Some might observe, indeed, that at least there are four big airlines. And you do get the occasional renegade that comes along like the recently deceased Virgin America.
Should this T-Mobile/Sprint merger be approved, who will be the renegade? Who will offer something different?
More likely is that the three big carriers will do precisely what the airlines have done: nickel-and-dime customers to the point of cudgel-wielding frustration.
Gone will be the unlimited plans. In their place will be an attitude of supposed you get what you paid for.
And you'll pay for every little thing.
Any new technology -- such as the much-touted 5G -- will be an excuse to raise prices.
Oh, you want the fancier service? That'll be First Class prices, thank you.
Of course, it could be that merger won't go through.
It could be.