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Sprint formally petitions AT&T, T-Mobile merger with FCC

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sprint has filed a formal petition with the Federal Communications Commission protesting AT&T's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, accusing the carrier of wasting its spectrum and taking a shortcut by purchasing T-Mobile.

The third largest wireless carrier in the U.S. added to its official opposition to the deal on Tuesday by filing a "petition to deny" against AT&T's FCC request to acquire T-Mobile's U.S. spectrum licenses. AT&T and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom first announced the merger in March.

Forbes reports that Sprint's 377-page document characterizes AT&T as "willingly naïve" about the wireless industry, comparing the carrier to "Alice in Wonderland." Sprint argues that since AT&T owns the most wireless spectrum of any U.S. carrier, it shouldn't need T-Mobile's spectrum.

According to sources close to Sprint, "AT&T’s desire for more spectrum while it is “sitting” on available spectrum is “absurd,” and shows that the company has an outdated, arrogant view of the business," the report noted.

The filing breaks down the spectrum gap in a section titled "Not all spectrum is created equal." According to Sprint, AT&T has an average of 40 megahertz of unused spectrum nationwide, with spectrum in all the "core" bands in the U.S.

Sprint's petition also includes a "technology declaration" from industry expert. The declaration accuses AT&T of inadequate investment in its network and not making the best of its spectrum. "AT&T wants to catch up by taking a shortcut - namely, by acquiring T-Mobile," the report noted the experts as saying.

Last week, the FCC sent a list of questions to AT&T, specifically regarding its use of its own wireless spectrum and why it believes it needs T-Mobile's spectrum to meet its goals for 4G. An FCC official has said that AT&T will have a tough time convincing the commission's chairman to sign off on the deal.

The U.S. Senate held a Judiciary subcommittee hearing earlier this month to discuss the merger. During the hearing, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse called for Congress to "just say no to this takeover."

Sprint contends that the deal would raise prices for smaller carriers as the resulting duopoly of AT&T and Verizon would control pricing for traffic backhaul and roaming agreements.

AT&T will have until June 10 to reply to Sprint's petition, while interested parties can file opinions with the FCC until June 20. T-Mobile and AT&T's responses to the FCC's questions are also due on June 10.
post #2 of 12
But Sprints purchase of Nextel...

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #3 of 12
Sprint should improve its lousy service instead of shouting at the wind. I long for the day that Sprint goes out of business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

But Sprints purchase of Nextel...

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #4 of 12
Is sprint the only one petitioning this merger, or has Verizon or any other carrier commented on the merger?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2007 View Post

Is sprint the only one petitioning this merger, or has Verizon or any other carrier commented on the merger?

Given Verizon's merger/buy-out history, them petitioning would all but seal the deal.

TMobile is fleeing the U.S. Abandon the towers or sell the to someone. Imagine how much more expensive it would be if D.C. got their cut.

Competition is good. Federal propping up competition = not competition.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2007 View Post

Is sprint the only one petitioning this merger, or has Verizon or any other carrier commented on the merger?

Verizon is keeping their mouths closed and for good reason. If this merger goes through Verizon will be able to point to it in the future when they attempt a major merger/buyout (maybe with Sprint).
post #7 of 12
I am glad to see some of the technical aspects of the case brought up in Sprint's filing. Randal has been a screw up for ATT for some time. I also appreciate the earlier comments made about Sprint. They had no idea what they were doing when the purchased Nextel and the incompatibility between the two technologies which put them in the position they currently occupy. Has anyone noticed what has been happening to the Middle class whenever a merger of firms this size takes place? We get screwed! We have less to chose from, jobs are eliminated, Congress gets bought off and the head person of the very agency that governs such issues such as what happened between Comcast and NBC, sells her soul off to the highest bidder, Comcast, to insure her vote to approve the deal and we are not suppose to notice or buy the bullshit that this was approved by agency lawyers.

This should be a no brainer in that it doesn't represent the best interest of the American people, the Middle Class, whom these very greedy people are suppose to be serving. The Sherman anti-trust act should be invoked here something that was never done during the Clinton administration where the sell off of the middle class started to happen under then Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin. The same thing is happening again under the Obama administration with "Turbo Tax" Ginther. Who represents the Middle Class? This definitely should not be approved, but we are going to take it in the rear end all over again!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebjesus View Post

Verizon is keeping their mouths closed and for good reason. If this merger goes through Verizon will be able to point to it in the future when they attempt a major merger/buyout (maybe with Sprint).

If this merger goes through, it's almost certain it will be the last of the big players. Sprint loses the opportunity to be acquired if it chooses down the road.

Industry consolidation produces many benefits (up to a point) especially when scale reduces costs and investment requirements, which can be passed on to customers. In addition, large firms have more cash flow available for new investments. However, when when there becomes too few industry players, they could essentially tacitly collude and not pass along cost efficiencies or not improve services. That's the debate here- whether more consolidation will help or hinder. Definitely getting to that point. Many countries just have 3 wireless carriers, so it can work.

I think the reason Sprint is so opposed is because the AT&T/T-Mobile would result in a much more powerful competitor. Being at scale disadvantage, Sprint's business could become more challenged.

I also think it's possible Sprint might end up going along with the merger. By making the argument against it, puts them a position to push for AT&T to make concessions by agreeing to considerable divestures which Sprint would be able to acquire at a good price. I am sure at this stage, there's a ton of posturing by the affected parties
post #9 of 12
This AT&T, which used to be known as SBC (SouthWestern Bell), gobbled up Pacific Telesis, BellSouth (incl Cingular Wireless), Ameritech, its former parent AT&T, Wayport, Cellular One, Comcast Wireless, Dobson Wireless, Aloha Partners, Edge Wireless, Centennial, and others. Instead of growing its revenues and earnings via acquisitions and layoffs, it should be upgrading its current infrastructure's facilities and equipment so customers' calls aren't dropped, signal quality is improved, etc.

Different frequencies won't fix AT&Ts inadequacies. Switching over to LTE and 4G won't address their call quality.

The FCC should deny the merger. In fact, the Justice Department should sue to break up AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2007 View Post

Is sprint the only one petitioning this merger, or has Verizon or any other carrier commented on the merger?

They are the only ones to officially appeal to the FCC but not the only opposition.

Supporters:
AT&T and DT shareholders
A bunch of rural areas who are crying foul because they have no internet(and have no understanding of economics and politics).
and some AT&T customers


Opposition:
Sprint Nextel
Leap wireless
Metro PCS
Cellular south
Public Knowledge
T-mobile customers
An ever growing number of politicians
other rural telecommunication members
consumer union
Free press
Media access project
The New America foundation
Cincinnati Bell


These are all i've found, feel free to add.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebjesus View Post

Verizon is keeping their mouths closed and for good reason. If this merger goes through Verizon will be able to point to it in the future when they attempt a major merger/buyout (maybe with Sprint).

Verizon wouldn't touch Sprint. Too much debt. (Why is sprint's stock soo low.) Bad assets. Now us cellular maybe...sprint naw. Sad that sprint really thought they were gonna purchase T-Mobile...Sad that the network isn't compadible...Sad all the carriers in opposition are ones that ROAM on other carriers. Is this by chance?
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Sprint should improve its lousy service instead of shouting at the wind. I long for the day that Sprint goes out of business.

SPRINT -- Stupid People Reactively Introducing Network Troubles
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