Such candor coming from an agency that never saw a wireless merger it could not approve and has never disputed industry claims how tirelessly they have to compete. So if the wireless marketplace is so vigorously competitive would it not stand to reason that AT&T and Verizon would have to offer nationwide data roaming so that their data coverage maps show ubiquitous access? If this market operated competitively would not AT&T and Verizon conclude that they should offer smaller carriers reciprocal access, even if doing so offers greater opportunities for little carriers to offer a competitive national data access service.
We can dispute whether these two carriers have a compulsory duty to deal—as common carriers, or licensed spectrum users-- but one fact is indisputable: the need for the FCC to compel interconnection means that no market-driven incentive exists for AT&T and Verizon to offer interconnection reciprocity. The FCC had to intervene, because the so-called competitive wireless marketplace would not prevent two dominant carriers from exploiting their dominance to achieve anticompetitive goals.