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  • AT&T Bid For T-Mobile Won't Be an Easy Sell to FCC


    On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal delved deeper into the hot button issue of AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile, a move that, if approved, would effectively reducing competition in the mobile industry and slash the number of major US carriers to just three. Speaking with the publication yesterday, an anonymous official at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressed pessimism about the proposal, saying that the chances of AT&T convincing the FCC chairman to sanction its planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA are not necessarily great.

    "There's no way the chairman's office rubber-stamps this transaction. It will be a steep climb to say the least," the FCC official tells the Wall Street Journal. AT&T, on the other hand, is putting forward a very confident public face, offering one sanguine comment after the next about the pending deal. "We understand that Congress, the DOJ, the FCC, as well as wireless consumers will have questions about the transaction. We look forward to answering and addressing those questions," said AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris. "We are confident that the facts will demonstrate that the deal is in the public interest and that competition will continue to flourish."

    But just this past Tuesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reiterated his agency's commitment "to encouraging a competitive marketplace." "While we're still working through details of a data-roaming framework, I believe the core proposition is beyond dispute: healthy competition produces greater innovation and investment, lower prices, and better service," Genachowski said, although neither he or his fellow FCC commissioners have formally commented on the record about AT&T's proposed takeover.

    If AT&T has its druthers, it will acquire T-Mobile and consequently become the largest wireless carrier in the nation with a whopping estimated 130 million subscribers. Given the shear magnitude of that possible reality, many industry analysts believe it could take up to a year for the FCC to reach an ultimate decision on the pending deal.

    Source: Wall Street Journal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Bid For T-Mobile Won't Be an Easy Sell to FCC started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. Stryker1's Avatar
      Stryker1 -
      Yeah, this deal would definitely stifle competition even more. Having 4 major players in the cell phone market is still good but going down to 3 major companies would make these companies less competitive with each other and drive up the prices. T-Mobile should be left on its own. I hope the FCC strikes the deal down.

      Stryker
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      I feel days ago most people on this forum were happy with the merger, now most don't like it? You all don't know what you want!!
    1. ("\(.:...:.)/")~RaWr's Avatar
      ("\(.:...:.)/")~RaWr -
      Quote Originally Posted by hogcia View Post
      I feel days ago most people on this forum were happy with the merger, now most don't like it? You all don't know what you want!!
      I think what is more important is how you feel about the merger.
    1. LastSonOfKrypton's Avatar
      LastSonOfKrypton -
      IMHO if this merger goes through it's going to kill Sprint and hurt Verizon.
    1. davidkraft86's Avatar
      davidkraft86 -
      I think it is funny that everyone is against this merger, especially T Mobile customers... Deutsche Telecom has made their intentions clear in the matter that they wish to get rid of T Mobile USA. Sprint couldn't afford T Mobile, which is why AT&T is ending up with this opportunity. If AT&T gets the merger, you will see a significantly larger and faster network emerge, which is a wonderful thought. However, if the FCC denies the deal, all the T Mobile people complaining about AT&T, would you prefer to merge or get cut off??? Deutsche Telecom is LOSING MONEY on T Mobile and they are trying desperately to sell... But if they can't sell, the only other solution is to shut down and get out before the lose any more... Just food for thought.
    1. MoDaLoT's Avatar
      MoDaLoT -
      Quote Originally Posted by hogcia View Post
      I feel days ago most people on this forum were happy with the merger, now most don't like it? You all don't know what you want!!
      I'm for the merger.
    1. MoDaLoT's Avatar
      MoDaLoT -
      Quote Originally Posted by LastSonOfKrypton View Post
      IMHO if this merger goes through it's going to kill Sprint and hurt Verizon.
      Good kill sprint then bring Verizon too there knees. They suck anyways
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by davidkraft86 View Post
      I think it is funny that everyone is against this merger, especially T Mobile customers... Deutsche Telecom has made their intentions clear in the matter that they wish to get rid of T Mobile USA. Sprint couldn't afford T Mobile, which is why AT&T is ending up with this opportunity. If AT&T gets the merger, you will see a significantly larger and faster network emerge, which is a wonderful thought. However, if the FCC denies the deal, all the T Mobile people complaining about AT&T, would you prefer to merge or get cut off??? Deutsche Telecom is LOSING MONEY on T Mobile and they are trying desperately to sell... But if they can't sell, the only other solution is to shut down and get out before the lose any more... Just food for thought.
      You make good points.
      I don't really care about the outcome, we've got 6 GSM networks in Ireland and none owned by Deutsche Telecom
      Competition is strong and prices are low.
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      im for the merger it doesnt matter much to me there is no real competition if AT&T and Verizon got together and said hey we want to charge 300 dollars instead of 200 dollars to upgrade to new phones we can do it if u do it and we both make more money then guess what thats what would happen cause there the 2 biggest companies in the U.S. so were at the whim of the companies the only reason why we havent gotten really screwed yet is they dont seem smart enough for collusion to occur
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      You make good points.
      I don't really care about the outcome, we've got 6 GSM networks in Ireland and none owned by Deutsche Telecom
      Competition is strong and prices are low.
      Yep same in England, various carriers with iPhone 4's, all low prices, 3 has the best deal right now though I think, unlimited data and £35 ftw!Too bad I'm on Orange
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post
      Yep same in England, various carriers with iPhone 4's, all low prices, 3 has the best deal right now though I think, unlimited data and £35 ftw!Too bad I'm on Orange
      Yeah I have unlimited calls & texts to my network, 200 mins & 200 texts to other networks and 2GB data for €28, I wanna move to 3 when the iPhone 4 comes out but at the moment I'd have to pay €40 for the same spec plan but with unlimited data. I don't use more than 500MB a month so it's not work paying an extra €12 a month
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      Quote Originally Posted by BSmith View Post
      If a company wants to sell, and another company wants to buy, what is the problem?

      It's not like we have a God given right (nor Federal/state) to have cellphones. If they jack the prices up you can vote with your checkbook. I gave up XM radio for that reason.
      Please audit Economics 101 at your local college and learn about the frailties of a laissez faire market before spewing ignorant drivel out of your fingers. Kthx.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      I hope it goes through. AT&T has always been good for me and this will make it better. Sprint and Verizon better pray this doesn't happen. Besides, there are tons of other GSM carriers out there. People are just hating because it is AT&T making the move. If it were another carrier this wouldn't even be a discussion.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      I am for it. I hope it goes through. There will still be 3 major players in the business. Also as someone pointed out T-Mobile USA is in the market to be sold. If it doesn't sale and since it is losing money then a choice must come up down the road.

      ATT will be what 43% of the market with this and Verizon at 35%? Sprint was already low in the count in the first place but it will survive.
    1. cncrim's Avatar
      cncrim -
      Money talks!!!!!!!!!!!! if FCC get their cut, merge will happen.
    1. dogdaysunrise's Avatar
      dogdaysunrise -
      I pray the FCC says no!
      AT&T's spokesman Michael Balmoris said, "We are confident that the facts will demonstrate that the deal is in the public interest and that competition will continue to flourish."
      What a load of $%^&!
      In the interest of the public and competition will continue to flourish!? Really? Seriously?

      Why does t-mobile sell anyway!? They are better off than Sprint and from what I know not struggling!
    1. iphone?3gs's Avatar
      iphone?3gs -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
      If the merger goes through, everyone on T-Mobile will have the option to end their contract without paying an ETF.

      By the way, I sent the following letter to the heads of T-Mobile and AT&T and sent a copy to the head of the FCC:

      We are long standing T-Mobile customers and we have been reading about your proposed merger with AT&T and I have to say that if you do go through with the merger we will be moving our service elsewhere, here is why:
      At work we have AT&T Wireless for our iPhones and the customer service is the worst that I have seen with ANY company.
      In addition, the parent AT&T company is terrible about responding to problems with our internet. We do use a third party provider, but have even tried using them directly and they have always taken 2-3 days to come out to fix anything, not something that is good in a business environment and not something that I will put up with in a cellular carrier personally.
      Prices go up on the new carrier’s plans.
      Customer Service always reverts to the lowest common denominator (in this case AT&T).
      The cell towers get even more overloaded than they already were, because ehty are now handling a combined amount of traffic, unfortunately, the combined traffic doesn’t spread out equally over the both carrier’s towers.

      Additionally, cell phone company mergers have always been bad for consumers, between my wife and I, we have been through four cell phone company mergers, the claims are always the same:
      Your existing equipment will continue to work with the new service
      Your existing sim card (when applicable) will continue to work
      Your existing plan will be honored

      The results are also always the same:
      Your equipment does continue to work, but only on the old cell towers, never on the new company’s towers. In addition, after a while mechanisms are put into place (intentionally or not) that prevent the old equipment from holding on more than a 5 minute conversation wnithout dropping calls. This ends up forcing you to buy a new phone to continue to properly use the service.
      You existing sim does much the same thing.
      Your existing plan is only honored until you buy a new phone or have to get a new sim card.

      We have remained loyal to T-Mobile over these years for the following reasons:
      Customer service goes far above and beyond that of other carriers (especially AT&T, whose customer service ranks as the worst customer service of any company that I have dealt with and I have dealt with some pretty bad ones)
      Prices are extremely competitive, not only on the plans, but on the phones, even without a contract
      Coverage is usually about 30% better than AT&T in the places that we go. (Same location, T-Mobile will have service and AT&T will not)
      Even when AT&T does have coverage, about 20% of the time, I cannot make a call or use data. Data is especially bad for AT&T at Disneyland (a place that we frequent a lot, so this is extremely important)

      Please be aware that there are many out there that feel much the same way, look at the comments on the articles on iphonehacks.com, modmyi.com, iphonefreakz.com, macrumors.com, zdnet.com

      Also, as I am sure you are already aware, if the merger does go through, your customers will legally be allowed to terminate their contracts without paying any ETF, due to a substantial change in the contract. (In this case changing the company who the contract is with).

      As you can see, a merger with AT&T would be a bad deal for the consumer overall, a copy this email is also being sent to the head of the FCC to oppose the proposed merger.

      The email address for the heads of AT&T and T-Mobile are:
      [email protected] (CEO's Assistant, but is the most relevant address I could find)
      [email protected]
      [email protected]

      To send an email to the head of the FCC, you need to use the following website:
      Send E-mail to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

      All of this information is quite easily obtainable from a Google search, so I have no problems putting the email addresses and link in my comments.

      I dont think yours or anyones comment will affect tmobile's merger, for them its a done deal. T-mobile wants it, and they dont care who there loosing, remember At&t wont care at all either. They are basically already together.

      But I really want this together, it will bring more coverage and more choices. Cingular and At&t was fine, so was lots of other things.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      I disagree that the Cingular and AT&T merger was just fine. It was riddled with problems, decrease in customer service, price increases (even though they said they would not do so).

      Tmobile and AT&T will care if the majority of their customers leave.

      There will not magically be better coverage, because they bot work on different frequencies. Everyone on one of the carriers will end up having to replace their phones (don't believe the claims that they won't, they will find a way to make you).

      Note I also sent this to the FCC because they can put a stop to it.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      They have already said that they will move the t-mobile users to the ATT 3G frequency. Once t-mobiles 3G frequency is clear then they will use that spectrum to usher in LTE. ATT lost the bid for more spectrum when the government was selling it. This is ATT's chance to grab a spectrum too.
    1. iphone?3gs's Avatar
      iphone?3gs -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
      I disagree that the Cingular and AT&T merger was just fine. It was riddled with problems, decrease in customer service, price increases (even though they said they would not do so).

      Tmobile and AT&T will care if the majority of their customers leave.

      There will not magically be better coverage, because they bot work on different frequencies. Everyone on one of the carriers will end up having to replace their phones (don't believe the claims that they won't, they will find a way to make you).

      Note I also sent this to the FCC because they can put a stop to it.
      I meant it was fine for the FCC for Att and Cingular to merge. It also lowered the competition, as tmobile wasn't as big as Att.

      Also, the FCC also probably recorded complaints for bad service from at&t. So in this way it might be a positive.

      All present Att phones work with tmobile's network. They wouldn't be work phones without it. It's that they won't get 3G from them. The iPhone works on tmobile.

      You also have to remember that verizon has gobbled up a lot of small carriers too, making it the largest. There will still be competition between the major 3, and the minors that will find there way up now.