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AT&T defends T-Mobile acquisition, says no effect on competition

post #1 of 39
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AT&T filed a statement with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday claiming that the wireless market will "remain vibrantly competitive" after its merger with T-Mobile USA.

The filing contains AT&T's response to a petition by rival carrier Sprint opposing the $39 billion deal. Sprint alleged in its filing that the acquisition would hurt smaller carriers trying to negotiate for backhaul and roaming agreements. The petition also cited an industry expert accusing AT&T of inadequate investment in its network to prepare for 4G LTE.

In addition to responding to Sprint's petition, the AT&T filing also answers a list of questions that the FCC sent last month.

AT&T focused on five key points throughout the statement. First, the wireless carrier asserts that "the transaction will generate jobs and economic growth." If the merger goes through, AT&T plans to invest more than $8 billion to expand LTE deployment and to integrate the AT&T and T-Mobile USA networks. In particular, the company sees the LTE expansion as having "job-creating ripple effects" throughout the economy.

The filing also claims that the transaction will "preserve and promote competition and innovation. "Nothing about the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA could possibly keep Sprint or any other provider from acting on the same incentives it has today to keep innovating in this unusually dynamic ecosystem," AT&T said, citing "incredible support for [the merger] from a large and broadly diverse number of high-tech companies."

"As anyone who watches television or reads the newspaper knows, the wireless market is one of the most competitive in the entire U.S. economy, with wireless providers aggressively marketing a vast array of products and services," the company wrote. AT&T alleges that the resurgence of Sprint and the fact that roughly 75 percent of Americans have a choice of five or more facilities-based wireless providers demonstrate "the basic competitive realities" in the American market.

According to AT&T, the post-acquisition company will have a far greater network capacity than its pre-merger parts. The company takes issue with accusations of underinvestment, arguing that its $75 billion investment to upgrade its wireline and wireless networks is "more than any other public company has invested in the U.S."

AT&T also turned the tables on Sprint, noting that Clearwire, which Sprint owns a majority stake in, has a "far stronger" combined spectrum position than AT&T and T-Mobile. With an average of 160-megahertz of spectrum in the top markets, Clearwire has the "best spectrum position in the industry," the filing claims. "This is more than the combined AT&T/T-Mobile company would have if their merger is approved, and does not even include the additional spectrum Sprint holds directly."

During a Senate hearing investigating the proposed acquisition last month, AT&T promised that it would reach 97 percent of the nation's population with 4G LTE if the deal was approved. Meanwhile, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse called for Congress to "just say no to this takeover."
post #2 of 39
the biggest point of opposition to the merger is the loss of a company in the game. But T-Mobile is tossing in the towel in the US. So no matter what we are going down to 3 major carriers.
post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

the biggest point of opposition to the merger is the loss of a company in the game. But T-Mobile is tossing in the towel in the US. So no matter what we are going down to 3 major carriers.

T-Mobile is not tossing in the towel in the U.S. What a ridiculous statement.
post #4 of 39
Quote:
AT&T defends T-Mobile acquisition, says no effect on competition

They are probably thinking that their isn't any real competition in the wireless industry now, so, what difference will it make.
post #5 of 39
That is BS. Right now I can take my iPhone and go to either AT&T or T-Mobile. They are both GSM networks. Both have different plans and prices. If the acquisition goes through, the only way I can leave AT&T is buy a new phone and go to Verizon or Sprint while it lasts. AT&T is buying a monopoly on the GSM.

It is bad for consumers, bad for the economy, and bad for hardware manufacturers like Apple. Further, T-Mobile wasn't going out of business. As soon as the iPhone went to T-Mobile, the market would have become competitive again. That was T-Mobile's biggest challenge. AT&T and Verizon locked in long term exclusive deals with premium phones. That potentially will become even a larger problem for Sprint. AT&T will soon be able to tell hardware manufacturers if you don't like our terms, get lost. What company is going to turn its back on forty percent of the market? We will go back to the pre-iphone days where carriers called all the shots at the expense of innovation.

Even if you are happy with AT&T, people should be very concerned about this deal and should be leaving comments with the FCC or Department of Justice to oppose the deal. Currently many people are easily able to sell Apple's iPhones when a new phone comes out thereby more then covering the cost of the new phone. This is undoubtedly largely due to people wanting to use the phones on T-Mobile. That market will dry up overnight.
post #6 of 39
Is it me or did SBC pull all the pieces of Ma Bell back together again?
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

They are probably thinking that their isn't any real competition in the wireless industry now, so, what difference will it make.

That's probably it. It's an implied "Why bother?" from AT&T. What a joke.

You want competition? Make carrier locking illegal, and see the "world mode" GSM+CDMA iPhone 5 light a fire under AT&T's butt.
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Is it me or did SBC pull all the pieces of Ma Bell back together again?

I forgot about the deutsch telecom spinoff from Att.
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

That's probably it. It's an implied "Why bother?" from AT&T. What a joke. That's probably their attitude with carrier locking the iPhone 4. "Why bother? It's not like they can use it anywhere else!".

You want competition? Make carrier locking illegal, and see the "world mode" GSM+CDMA iPhone 5 light a fire under AT&T's butt.

It'd be great to see consumers be able to switch between the carriers without penalties! Hope the day will come when phones will be compatible with any network in the world! Then the carriers will have to fight for each customer, based on the the quality of their networks!

The TV Commercials War between Verizon and ATT is annoying! I want One Phone for The World, 100% Compatibility!!! Cell Networks should compete on Stability, Speed, Coverage! They are just PIPES!!! The carriers will have plenty work to do in those areas:

Stability, Speed, Coverage!

The Customers will vote with their $$$!!!

The other obvious questions would be:

How much will such World, 100% Compatible Phones cost without subsidies and contracts?
Will the masses pay those prices?

One Phone for The World - 100% Compatibility
No Contracts

That's what I want!!!

 

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post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macologist View Post

It'd be great to see consumers be able to switch between the carriers without penalties! Hope the day will come when phones will be compatible with any network in the world! Then the carriers will have to fight for each customer, based on the the quality of their networks!

The TV Commercials War between Verizon and ATT is annoying! I want One Phone for The World, 100% Compatibility!!! Cell Networks should compete on Stability, Speed, Coverage! They are just PIPES!!! The carriers will have plenty work to do in those areas:

Stability, Speed, Coverage!

The Customers will vote with their $$$!!!

The other obvious questions would be:

How much will such World, 100% Compatible Phones cost without subsidies and contracts?
Will the masses pay those prices?

One Phone for The World - 100% Compatibility
No Contracts

That's what I want!!!

That's pretty much what I enjoy today, and T-Mobile is an important component. Had more consumers chosen the freedom that T-mos prepayed plans give, maybe Deutsche telekom wouldn't have sold it. Everyone complains about the monopolies, yet continues to support them.
post #11 of 39
I see the latest ATT commercials is talking about the benefits of the addition of Tmo. Getting people indoctrinated of what it's going to be (T-Mobile is part of ATT) even before approval from the government. \

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post #12 of 39
You really need more competition, not less! You have the worst selection of mobile network products on the planet.
post #13 of 39
Seriously. A 39B dollar acquisition is not going to affect competition??? Only an idiot would believe this.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

the biggest point of opposition to the merger is the loss of a company in the game. But T-Mobile is tossing in the towel in the US. So no matter what we are going down to 3 major carriers.

Um, no. In fact, TMobile stands to get a huge windfall (about $3 billion) from AT&T if this deal doesn't get approved. But I imagine they have clauses in the deal that void the payment if TMo and their parent company can be shown to have been anything less than 100% behind AT&T's bid.

$3 billion can go an awful long way toward improving a network.
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

That's probably it. It's an implied "Why bother?" from AT&T. What a joke.

You want competition? Make carrier locking illegal, and see the "world mode" GSM+CDMA iPhone 5 light a fire under AT&T's butt.

I'd like to see the model change so that carriers cannot combine the mobile service charges with the phone buying charges.

They should be made to split out the phone cost and treat it as a hire purchase in the same way as with car finance. With financing loans, the lender is obliged to tell you how much you pay each month, what the loan percentage is, how much the total is and when you take full ownership.

If these were split out, then customers would still have their commitment to pay for the cost of the phone over time, but there'd be transparency of the cost of the financing, and users could switch to other carriers, while still paying off the loan which is fair. With loans there is also regulation that allows a customer to pay off the balance and therefore take immediate ownership and stop paying the interest.

The carriers are using obfuscation to run unregulated hire purchase loans and killing that trick would unlock the market.

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post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

You want competition? Make carrier locking illegal, and see the "world mode" GSM+CDMA iPhone 5 light a fire under AT&T's butt.

I'm still very sceptical about a single model of iphone-5 for all markets. If only from a cost perspective, the licensing fees for CDMA are substantial and sticking it into phones intended for near 100% GSM markets just seems wasteful.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macologist View Post

One Phone for The World - 100% Compatibility
No Contracts

That's what I want!!!

Why did you have to go this far? Now I have to disagree with the whole thing.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

I see the latest ATT commercials is talking about the benefits of the addition of Tmo. Getting people indoctrinated of what it's going to be (T-Mobile is part of ATT) even before approval from the government. \

Well come to modern television/news. Everything is about indoctrinating the public into accepting something that they rightfully shouldn't, but will anyway.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Is it me or did SBC pull all the pieces of Ma Bell back together again?

Sure seems that way sometimes. But Verizon started out as Bell Atlantic. They're a pretty big piece. I think there are a few smaller pieces out there on their own, still, too.
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post #20 of 39
Competition??? Compare iPhone plans between Verizon and AT&T. Little, if any difference. That's not competition. If AT&T is allowed to take over T-Mobile, it will only get worse.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I'm still very sceptical about a single model of iphone-5 for all markets. If only from a cost perspective, the licensing fees for CDMA are substantial and sticking it into phones intended for near 100% GSM markets just seems wasteful.

You act as though the price will increase for end-users. It won't. That's not what Apple does. It'd be $209 instead of $199. That's completely pointless.

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post #22 of 39
So AT&T is implying that there is no competition already and getting rid of tmobile will not reduce competition because it can't get any less competitive. Look tmobile was the only carrier with good pricing and good prepaid plans, with it gone the prepaid guys are fucked and post paid guys are gonna get milked just like they were milked before - ok service and shitty customer support.

I dunno this is starting to look like comcast and AT&T in the cable business, and we all know how that turned out. Sure we have rcn, but it only works in one neighborhood in Chicago, so I guess we technically have a choice...
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post #23 of 39
It should read

Quote:
AT&T defends T-Mobile acquisition, says effectively no competition
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post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

T-Mobile is not tossing in the towel in the U.S. What a ridiculous statement.

Yah, actually they are. They have no provisions for LTE, HSPA+ is the end of the line for them. They are indeed throwing in the towel whether ATT buys them or not.
post #25 of 39
AT&T is Baghdad Bob.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcoz View Post

Yah, actually they are. They have no provisions for LTE, HSPA+ is the end of the line for them. They are indeed throwing in the towel whether ATT buys them or not.

No they aren't..Deutsche Telekom is. T-Mobile's new CEO was put in on behalf of DT, HENCE his optimism on the merger and defeat.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Is it me or did SBC pull all the pieces of Ma Bell back together again?

Close...the only original baby bell afaik that isn't part of the new att is Bell Atlantic, which bought GTE (General Telephone and electronics Co - big here in the mid west in the day) and changed the combined name to, wait for it...Verizon!

Oddly enough the Atlantic/gte deal is also responsible for the existence of Telus in Canada...sorry about that my friends to the north!
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post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

T-Mobile is not tossing in the towel in the U.S. What a ridiculous statement.

AT&T has no problem with the merger.

IN the USA today, this sort of obvious corporate PR is considered "news" and a rebuttal.

Of course, if this government were still in charge of corporate activity, the merger would not be allowed. And the fact that the media pretends that this is anything BUT monopolistic activity, should come as no surprise.

>>> The Merger, It's approval by the Corp-Gov which AT&T spied for, and the subsequent "no problems here" reaction of the media -- no surprise whatsoever.

This just means prices will remain higher and we are more likely to have caps on data plans. Anyone surprised? No?

No surprise either, that there will be armies of either "paid bloggers" or people so far trained in Corp-Gov-Think that they think there is nothing wrong.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanTiger View Post

AT&T is Baghdad Bob.

No, it's more like Saddam was put on the TV as a spokesman for Saddam, who would say things like; "Saddam does not have a problem with this, and our troops are gloriously winning."
post #30 of 39
I agree, the deal will likely go through with some bogus conditions. You are right as to the reasons as well. AT&T lets the federal government have full unfettered access to its network and customers' communications. Moreover, some government employees will get huge paydays for making it happen.

In France they'd be marching in the streets and lightening cars on fire. The government there is a afraid of its citizens, as it should be in a free country. We've lost the patriotic spirit here in the US. We take the scraps they give us.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

AT&T has no problem with the merger.

IN the USA today, this sort of obvious corporate PR is considered "news" and a rebuttal.

Of course, if this government were still in charge of corporate activity, the merger would not be allowed. And the fact that the media pretends that this is anything BUT monopolistic activity, should come as no surprise.

>>> The Merger, It's approval by the Corp-Gov which AT&T spied for, and the subsequent "no problems here" reaction of the media -- no surprise whatsoever.

This just means prices will remain higher and we are more likely to have caps on data plans. Anyone surprised? No?

No surprise either, that there will be armies of either "paid bloggers" or people so far trained in Corp-Gov-Think that they think there is nothing wrong.
post #31 of 39
I think Apple releasing the iPhone for Sprint (rumored) will have a bigger effect then AT&T buying TMobile.
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

I think Apple releasing the iPhone for Sprint (rumored) will have a bigger effect then AT&T buying TMobile.

iPhone on Sprint would probably be too little too late. Plus Sprint is betting more on WiMax* for 4G right? The iPhone is almost certain to go LTE eventually.

*Can someone clarify this point? Because it looks even tougher for Sprint because WiMax phones and tablets will be the minority in the future, even if some models come out. Sprint looks to have painted itself into a corner.

*Also, AT&T refers to Sprint as having "more spectrum". But that's because of ClearWire, right? And this spectrum is mostly for planned 4G WiMax, not LTE?
post #33 of 39
when the companies merge, there will no longer be need for lots of duplication; accounting, management, HR, and probably a lot of others.
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post

when the companies merge, there will no longer be need for lots of duplication; accounting, management, HR, and probably a lot of others.

The important question is, is AT&T still going to employ the charming model with the pink dress for their commercials
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

iPhone on Sprint would probably be too little too late. Plus Sprint is betting more on WiMax* for 4G right? The iPhone is almost certain to go LTE eventually.

*Can someone clarify this point? Because it looks even tougher for Sprint because WiMax phones and tablets will be the minority in the future, even if some models come out. Sprint looks to have painted itself into a corner.

*Also, AT&T refers to Sprint as having "more spectrum". But that's because of ClearWire, right? And this spectrum is mostly for planned 4G WiMax, not LTE?

Sprint has said (the closest thing a company can say to actually saying) that they're wrong about WiMAX and that they'd switch to LTE if it proved a better solution (read: they're going to switch).

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post #36 of 39
Given how supportive T-Mobile has been of Android (and that too stock Android), I'm really surprised that Google hasn't come out swinging against this deal.
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Given how supportive T-Mobile has been of Android (and that too stock Android), I'm really surprised that Google hasn't come out swinging against this deal.

Does... Google expect to sell fewer phones? What's that? More? Then what the heck would they find wrong with it?

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post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Does... Google expect to sell fewer phones? What's that? More? Then what the heck would they find wrong with it?

The reason Google has said nothing is that it is afraid with all the antri tust against it right now in the US and abroad that the government would exert even more force than it already has, which will probably actually help PUSH the deal through because the government will see it as an attempt for some sort of google monopoly on mobile software. So naturally they'd swing for whatever google would NOT want to happen.
post #39 of 39
RE: Originally Posted by macologist
One Phone for The World - 100% Compatibility
No Contracts


Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Why did you have to go this far? Now I have to disagree with the whole thing.

I meant to say:

iPhone with 100% Compatibility around the world (LTE, GSM, CDMA or ANYTHING!!!)
No Contracts in USA
The only difference would be Color and Storage Capacity!

Also, maybe Apple can get into Subsidies? Here is what I mean:

Instead of Carriers offering Subsidies, why doesn't Apple sell iPhone for the Full Price, and do Trade In with each New Model, where the customer brings back their own, not anyone else' iPhone, for Trade In. They receive the Newest Model at a Discount! That way Apple has a greater reassurance that they don't lose that customer, and that customer doesn't have to wait 2 years for Carrier Contract/Subsidy!

I guess other vendors could offer their anti iPhone Subsidies:

bring your Old iPhone, and we'll give you the same or better discount for the latest Android or Windows smartphone! But then, if customer does that, and regrets it later, they'll have to start with iPhone again at Full Price... Unless Apple wants to get into Price Wars with such Subsidies? Apple could keep track of their former customers, so to minimize the "games" some people might play with Serial Numbers of their devices, or the frequency of switching etc..

What do you guys think?

 

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