US sez no Ma Bell v2.0


i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002


The U.S. government sued to block AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc., saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market.

The Justice Department complaint was filed today in federal court in Washington. The U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law and a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said in its filing.

AT&T fell 96 cents to $28.66 at 10:31 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net


i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002



However, in recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, stated that T-Mobile does not have the spectrum to deploy in rural areas. He and other critics claim that the spectrum that T-Mobile controls won’t increase AT&T’s geographic reach since the companies’ networks almost entirely overlap. The issue of “spectrum crunch” or overload of the network, which AT&T insists the merger would help solve, is occurring in highly trafficked urban areas, not rural communities. (Check this link for a hefty pdf on filings on the merger with the FCC.)

Given AT&T’s track record, there is no guarantee of additional investment and development in the rural network. Past actions and performance are important to consider. Critics contend that it is not a lack of spectrum or towers that prevents rural development; they also suggest that the benefits to rural network development AT&T is promising can come without the merger for much less than the $39 billion price tag the merger will cost.

According to a Congressional Research Services report, AT&T already has a substantial amount of spectrum that it isn’t using—up to one third, according to some commentators. Tapping into that spectrum would mitigate numerous complaints of dropped calls coming from customers. A Wall Street Journal article by Martin Peers from April 29th, around the time the merger was announced, says that AT&T increased its wireless capital expenditures by only 1% in 2009 to Verizon’s 10%, despite enjoying a 60% spectrum advantage over its competitor.

One of the greatest impediments to rural investment has thus not been spectrum, but commitment by telecommunication carriers to spend the resources on rural network development. In their filing with the FCC, AT&T claims that it has not been in its interest to deploy next-generation wireless technology beyond 80% of the market, citing a cost benefit analysis. The merger, they argue, will provide incentive to increase that coverage to 97%. Critics point out that these numbers refer to the percent of population served, not the geographic areas or percent of the country that will be covered. Since populations are concentrated in urban centers, a tremendous number of rural residents would likely remain without service.

Claims regarding rural network development are worth examining in detail, as they do not hold up to scrutiny; a Cellular Market Areas (CMA) map illustrates the difference between covering 97.3% of U.S. population and covering 97.3% of the country. The map shows that almost 50% of the nation's land area would remain unserved if AT&T made good on its pledge to deply to "97.3% of the U.S. population." There would still be giants swatth of rural territory where the company wouldn't provide long term evolution broadband coverage.

While AT&T argues it needs the merger to justify investment in rural communities, those opposing the deal have argued the gains promised by AT&T are misleading and uncertain and do not justify the trade off in competition and pricing that would result from handing over the market to AT&T and Verizon.
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I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
Im over here now
Having not used TMobile, I can't imagine how badly they must suck if merging with AT&T will help customer service and coverage.
out where we live, i have 4-5 bars of 3G everywhere i go. my gf is lucky to get 1 bar of 3G and hardly ever has their "4G" with TMobile. she had no service for 2.5 days after Irene. when she called with my phone, they said call back in a week after they told her to restart her phone :think:
ive also had no bad experiences with ATT's CS...hell, im still on their corporate unlimited plan


Turbo Monkey
Sep 9, 2001
I suspect that this is likely just a formality.

Remember, this is America and if we can't have a good ol' fashioned monopoly at the very least we should have corporate oligarchies. So long as the prison rape is being executed by a few pencil d!cked white guys and not Tyrone from cell block 8, the general public is too stupid to realize that ass rape is ass rape.