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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    Is it me or did SBC pull all the pieces of Ma Bell back together again?
  • Reply 6 of 38
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    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!!!
  • Reply 9 of 38
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    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. \
  • Reply 11 of 38
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,222member
    You really need more competition, not less! You have the worst selection of mobile network products on the planet.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    sofabuttsofabutt Posts: 99member
    Seriously. A 39B dollar acquisition is not going to affect competition??? Only an idiot would believe this.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    titantigertitantiger Posts: 238member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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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