AT&T And T-Mobile Defend Their Position Against The Senate Judiciary Committee Recap

In case you didn’t catch our liveblog this morning covering the Senate Judiciary hearing on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, you didn’t miss anything major but still missed quite the show. The hearing was aptly called “Is Humpty-Dumpy Being Put Back Together Again?” with an obvious tip of the hat to AT&T’s former monopoly position. Senators Herb Kohl, Al Franken, John Conryn, Richard Blumenthal, Michael Lee, Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley presided over the meeting. Appearing before the committee were AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and T-Mobile CEO Philip Humm who did their best to defend the merger but at the end of the day, it was clear the Senate committee wasn’t going to let this thing through without some hard questions.

AT&T and T-Mobile did their best to reiterate their well known reasons for why the acquisition makes sense for consumers, the wireless industry and for America. Stephenson took the brunt of the questions as Phillip Humm did more watching than responding. In effect, it is my position that Phillip Humm played second fiddle to Stephenson and perhaps rightfully so, it was clear who is leading the charge to push this deal through. Stephenson faced quite a few tough questions, especially from Herb Kohl who pressed Stephenson and Humm to admit they were competitors with both ducking the question in every way. Kohl eventually blurted out “Come on, you guys are competitors. Please.” It was hysterical that AT&T wouldn’t directly call T-Mobile a competitor but labeled US Cellular, Leap and MetroPCS as serious threats to the marketplace when they have less marketshare than T-Mobile combined.

There were plenty of attempts by the distinguished Senators to clarify remarks from both Stephenson, Humm and some of their subordinates regarding earlier positions by both companies. When Humm was pressed by Senator Kohl on statements by T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray regarding a lack of spectrum shortage at T-Mobile Humm responded by saying Ray was only referring to “short-term data revenue growth and not the company’s ability to launch LTE.” Kohl didn’t buy it.

When the AT&T CEO was pressed by Senator Klobuchar from Minnesota to swear under oath that AT&T would not raise prices, Stephenson only responded that history had shown mergers would lead to lower pricing. Stephenson is a pro at avoiding the answers to tough questions.

Senator Al Franken took on Stephenson’s hope that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal would be looked at on a local level by pointing out that AT&T advertises on a national level, does business on a national level and is ignoring that wireless is a national market.  Franken asked if AT&T isn’t looking at the market on a local level, why should the deal be looked at as such? At that moment, I wanted to give Senator Al Franken a hug.

There was no more vocal opponent to the deal in the witness chair than that of Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. Hilariously referring to AT&T and Verizon at the “Twin Bells,” Hesse admitted that an AT&T/T-Mobile merger increased the chances Sprint would be acquired by Verizon. Up until today, Sprint had yet to make such a definitive statement regarding their impression of their own future should this deal pass. In Hesse’s opening statement he accused the AT&T/T-Mobile deal of “turning back the clock on competition,” and stated that the ‘Twin Bells’ could discourage manufacturers from partnering with anyone else.

Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge fiercely argued against the merger. Sohn lampooned the idea that there was a “spectrum shortage in America.” Sohn also hit AT&T for running 3 different networks and saying they don’t have enough capacity.” Sohn implored not go back to the future, to not go back to a wireless market that resembles a duopoly. Sohn also attacked AT&T’s position that the merger would create job and emphasized that it’s hard to find a merger that creates jobs. At one point, Sohn brought out the Zach Morris phone, she won our hearts at that moment.

Hu Meena, Cellular South CEO also argued against the merger with his concern focusing mostly on LTE roaming agreements that he saw as being difficult to attain under a combined AT&T/T-Mobile. As AT&T and Verizon plan to build two incompatible LTE networks, regional carriers like Cellular South will have only two directions with which to make technological decisions and will see themselves in a tough bargaining position. Meena emphasized that it was important to “provide services wherever a person goes anywhere in the country.”

Larry Cohn, President of the Communication Workers of America began with 3 key points that emphasizes why his group approves of the merger. The first is that the merger will accelerate broadband deployment, a position he stated throughout the hearing: that America was well behind in the international world for broadband deployment. The second point was that the merger can and will benefit consumers and his third point emphasized that the merger can create jobs. We should emphasize that the CWA is a union group and it would be hard to argue that Cohn wouldn’t support a deal he didn’t believe would create jobs.

All in all todays meeting was good natured and saw as many laughs as it did ducked questions. Clearly AT&T and T-Mobile will have to hone their arguments as they appear before future committees and consumer groups in order to win approval of the merger. While I understand that many think this deal will be rubber stamped no matter what, the fight is far from over and the opposition to the deal is just solidifying their own base and we should expect plenty of fireworks in the coming days, weeks and months.

Image Courtesy of Techcores

 

 

 

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/35HLVJSI34LMH5M274SCGWDZBY mike

    Based on today’s hearing, this merger has a STEEP hill to climb….

    • Anonymous

      That was all window dressing. If you look at other Senate hearings, they all have the same M.O. no matter what the issue is. The deal will go through based on TMO as a company going down the shitter.

      • nps_ca

        Define down the shitter? I know telco’s who even on the face of losing customers they still grew arpu and made a profit. Don’t fall into the trap DT AND AT&T are positioning around the financial numbers. If its such crap why is AT&T paying so much and risking a huge break up fee? TMO is highly valuable as a going concern, AT&T’s bid is purely preemptive to prevent anyone else from bidding and become a credible competitor. If you don’t see this then you also have no idea how damaging this merger will be to the competitive landscape. On the other hand I’m all for the Govt approving this if the FCC then gets to enforce strong controlled pricing regulation. You can’t have open free markets with limited competition you can have limited competition with heavily regulated pricing. Blindly agreeing to the merger so you think you will get more coverage is pathetic. AT&T has sufficient spectrum that they refuse to deploy and basically hoard it to prevent others entering the market. You can damn well bet Verizon and AT&T watch each others backs on this.

        • Anonymous

          I own a business that’s based on retention and keeping customers. If I began to lose customers left and right, it may not hurt initially, but about a year down the road, things would be pretty terrible. Right now things may not look so terrible, but give it a year or two for Tmo.

        • nps_ca

          Your business is not a mobile carrier… Them losing customers in 1-2 year cycles shows negatively on the programs in place to retain customers – it doesn’t mean the carrier is sinking quick and needs a cash infusion or acquisition – these are all cyclical trends – look at AT&T 5 years ago and Cingular 5 years ago (as separate networks), Sprint, Verizon and TMO took a HUGE chunk of their customer base. I am a DT shareholder and I have the full DT financials and I can tell you TMO is making a lot of money for DT; but they also have an opportunity to divest themselves from the market with the ridiculous price AT&T is willing to pay. I can’t fault DT for doing this; especially if the merger doesn’t go through DT gets a huge break up fee. It’s win win for DT

        • Anonymous

          no it’s not a mobile carrier, but my business makes money much like TMO does, by RETAINING customers. My original point was to show that the Senate hearings are a dog and pony show. They do this with every hearing. As far as going down the shitter TMO has been losing customers for some time now. I’m sure they are highlighting this point now to get the deal approved, but they are still losing customers nonetheless.

        • nps_ca

          Let’s agree to agree… :) TMO is losing customers, it’s hardly though as pathetic as it looks… It’s grandstanding to get the merger through as you state perfectly. DT’s got nothing to lose; it goes through, GREAT, it doesn’t, AT&T owes them some serious coinage they can use to pay back shareholders and invest in the network.

        • Anonymous

          Funny, I was going to say the same :-) Honestly, I’ve been a customer going on 9 years, and I’d hate to see this get approved. It’s hard to find a large company such as TMO giving great service and allowing you to break up the purchase of a new phone over a few bills.

        • nps_ca

          Sad to say I will move to Sprint most likely and switch my Japan mobile phone to be my main intl roaming phone – as that phone has per day FLAT data roaming – something no US carrier does – so if AT&T wants to screw the GSM/UMTS user base – I will be glad to have a US phone that only works in the US and my Japan phone for roaming to other countries.

        • nps_ca

          On the Softbank flat rate roaming: see here:
          http://mb.softbank.jp/en/global_services/global_roaming/global_roaming_packet_flat_rate.html
          What’s extremely ironic is that the US flat rate provider is AT&T; who never in a cold day in hell would offer this same roaming benefit to US users going out of the country.

        • Anonymous

          hard to say what I’ll do, I was a cingular customer and they were pretty terrible. I may just have join Verizon.

        • AnonGuy

          Their data coverage is so bad that they’ll need the entire 39 billion yo bring it up to par…

        • Bthoefer

          The merger is creating a self fulfilling prophecy with T-Mobile’s numbers.

          As soon as the merger was announced any potential customers coming from ATT started going to Verizon or Sprint. Just think about it, if you wanted to leave ATT would you go to a company that you knew was being bought by them?

          That is a huge reason that Q1 numbers were so bad for T-Mobile. Traffic at the store I work at is less than half of what it was last year.

          Personally there is a lot I don’t like about the merger, but I don’t think T-Mobile can survive without it. Before the merger announcement things were different and I believe the main cause of the decline in the next year is the fallout from the merger announcement. I believe that the losses from Q1 will continue until the merger closes next year.

    • Anonymous

      That was all window dressing. If you look at other Senate hearings, they all have the same M.O. no matter what the issue is. The deal will go through based on TMO as a company going down the shitter.

  • Tito!

    Kudos, David! :]

    Let this Debate BEGIN.

  • Anonymous

    “Sohn brought out the Zach Morris phone, she won our hearts at that moment” that was awesome lmbo She was definitely on point.

  • LiterallyLogan

    Suck it, AT&T ;)

  • Keith4ya

    Has anybody ever thought about the idea of all contracted consumers
    taking on share(s) of the company? We could write our own history.
    Let’s not give the CEO and President Philip Humm the satisfaction of the
    buyout. Let’s the give him the satisfaction of not kicking him the
    rear as we, the new share holders, tell him to get out and kick cans
    down the street. He has showed us that he’s not there on our behalf at
    the committee meeting. The banking industry has allowed it with
    membership credit unions were members own the bank and have shares. Why
    not allow us to own our own wireless company as well. We can do this
    by setting up our own board of directors, if the current board is not
    who we want, and each wireless phone line counts as one share or what
    have you. Also, there are other parameters that we’ll have to deal
    with. What do you say people? The idea first came to mind last week
    and this is the first time I’m sharing it with anyone. I think it is
    possible. I spend over $2,000/year in cellular service for my household
    alone with T-Mobile. Some of that can go towards paying for my shares.
    I think; it is possible and that will keep the jobs of fine customer
    service personnel that we pride ourselves on as a company. To rid
    ourselves of dead spots or non-service areas; just build the towers
    there to reach them in the coming months and years. We can do it; only
    together though. This will cease duopoly and monopoly possibilities.
    It will give us continued rights that this country was founded upon and
    growth towards new avenues in freedom of technology.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Unfortunately, I doubt that anyone could put together a massive enough fund to make T-Mobile USA independent. You’d have to not only make that offer more attractive than the AT&T one, but also make it more attractive than any other potential buyer of T-Mobile USA. Additionally, you’d have to find some non-monetary incentive for Deutsche Telekom (the current owner of T-Mobile USA) to accept the offer. Since I doubt any individuals own any valuable spectrum that could be attractive for T-Mobile USA to use, that’s out too.

      What is far more probable is persuading Deutsche Telekom to either sell to Sprint-Nextel or relinquish it and turn it public. Either of which is unlikely to happen unless the AT&T deal is struck down. Part of the terms of the deal is that no other offers can and will be accepted while the deal is still in effect. If the deal is cancelled from AT&T’s side, or the deal is blocked by regulators, then the other two options are available.

      • nps_ca

        Another “odd approach” would be let the infrastructure side merge to AT&T but TMO becomes a MVNO with capped rates – TMO continues with ZERO infrastructure spending needed – AT&T has more spectrum – but has to cater to TMO’s MVNO needs. In the UK TMO-UK merged with France Telecom’s Orange. They run the company as TWO distinct brands but now share ONE network (the network shows up on each other companies handsets as a local network – meaning the infrastructure side of the merged company runs one network, TMO-UK and Orange are MVNO’s on the parent network). This got around the UK regulators issues as both companies are run by separate mgmt teams and they offer different rate schemes.

        The missing link in the US is WEAK telecom regulation and the mentality that we need no regulation as the market sorts it self out – true if there is competition. The moment you have a monoply or duopoly though you need to step back and look at the market further.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          Oddly enough, through all the FCC filings I’ve read through, I have not seen that suggestion made before. I have thought of that being a potentially viable solution, but that would require Congress, the FCC, and the FTC to agree to do this. The likelihood of that is quite low.

        • nps_ca

          Yeah, agree that likelihood is low. Another approach the govt. can take is to state. Any network telco provider with more than a 30% market share is subject to pricing and tariff caps. Other countries do this to prevent these mergers from even being considered. For how large the mobile carrier market is in the US NO single carrier truly needs more than 30% of the market if their ARPU is high and their operating margin is good – and cash flow is good. They are being greedy to show the investors they can grow the business ; but who fricking cares – investors should be secondary to running a sustainable business not just running for financial quarterly increases and dividends. So many companies in the US run this way and in the long run end up with major issues. Service the customer right with a product they want at a price point that works for the customer and gives you good operating margin; you should need no more than that. It’s pure greediness on AT&T’s behalf to want to control more than 40-50% of the market in some local markets.

          The real sad missing link was Verizon; I don’t see them standing up and complaining much; their complaining seems cosmetic and not genuine. I would have loved Verizon to step up today and state that if the merger goes through their damn well going to bid for Sprint and it will be a pure duo-ploy. That would have been a better threat to the committee and for reference to the DOJ – that would have KILLED this merger.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          Verizon actually isn’t complaining. Their rather few comments on the deal seem to indicate that they are waiting for the deal to pass through. If it succeeds, they plan on doing some M&A of their own, potentially acquiring Sprint and US Cellular. Given the hyper-competition of the CDMA2000-based cell phone market, they will probably be allowed to do several M&As before they get to the point where people need to step in like they do with the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. The reason this deal is such an issue is that it produces an effective monopoly for a particular family of technologies.

          Europe doesn’t have this problem because the European Union mandated years ago that all members of the EU must use only GSM family technologies after the disaster with analog where each telecom had their own incompatible service. In Asia, where some CDMA usage does exist, most are transitioning to HSPA+ to make it easier to move to LTE, or even attempting to go straight to LTE, like Verizon is doing.

          In Canada, all major carriers made the switch in 2008 to HSPA+ in order to prepare their networks for LTE, since LTE is actually Long Term Evolution for the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (LTE for UMTS). In the 3GPP release specs, it is referred to as the Evolved Packet Core for UMTS. It is natural to transition to UMTS/HSPA+ before rolling out LTE. By building out UMTS/HSPA+ first, they minimize their costs on building a shared 4G LTE network.

          I wish Verizon had done this instead of attempting to shoehorn the CDMA2000/EVDO core into acting like the proper natural bridge to Evolved Packet Core that HSPA+ provides. Because of the many differences, there will be glitches in Verizon’s network until they begin decommissioning the CDMA2000 network.

        • nps_ca

          Canada also auctioned AWS and prevented incumbents from bidding… FCC rarely does that.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          They did it only once, I believe. And that was with the PCS license auction. Though, I’m not totally certain on that. It’s hard to find information about the PCS auction terms since the FCC site is so bad…

    • http://twitter.com/ITMedCEO Derrick Ford

      If the citizens of Greenbay can do it with the Packers… We can sure as hell do it with TMOBILE!!!

  • nps_ca

    CWA chiming in was pure BS. CWA represents AT&T employees. TMO choose to be non union for most job and a few with different unions. CWA wants to bust TMO up as it strikes an Anti CWA bias. What better way to fight TMO being ANTI-CWA then having one of your largest employee group employees acquire TMO. I’m not anti union but this was very disingenuous of the CWA

  • Meagan

    In case anyone has been living under a rock, mergers happen like with airlines and tech companies. People whine and cry. But guess what, merger still happens.

    Everyday it seems smarter to buy a AT&T mobile and have it unlocked if I still want to hang out with Tmobile. I am looking forward to buying a AT&T 4.5″ Samsung Infuse to use unlocked on my Tmobile with Edge until the deal gets finalized. Then I’ll have AT&T fast speeds after the merge. Sorry G2X owners, enjoy AT&T Edge happily ever-after.

    • Anonymous

      Airlines are different story because there are many options to it. Not so many are affected.

    • Aerofanbig

      are you high? Did you seriously just suggest paying an outrageous amount off contract for a new phone, to purposely use it on a slow network in the hopes that you will eventually be on AT&T’s network…instead of just buying the phone and being on their network in the first place?

      • Ladycaca22

        Haha thays what she said! She must be pretty darn stupid to do that. I think she’s is high

    • Havoktek

      That wasn’t too bright lassy…..

    • nps_ca

      Meagan: They happen in markets were competition is present. United + Continental merging still allows for American, Delta, Southwest and US Airways to operate, plus a whole host of VALID smaller competitors like Virgin America, Alaska, Frontier, etc.

      In this TMO/AT&T merger; the only valid competitor is Verizon. The other networks AT&T names are to be honest high volume regional players with NO national footprint. If the other networks AT&T mention are so good why aren’t you using one them right now?

      The main issue here is these carriers purchased/leased spectrum from the government so the government has an ABSOLUTE right to react to market issues and competition. If these guys weren’t using government owned airwaves, who cares – but they do so it is a legitimate concern for the FCC and DOJ.

    • OldPro

      I’ve got an Inspire “4G” from work. Tethering performance in the Twin Cities isn’t even as good as what I got out-state from my Sprint Blackberry last year. You’d be better off to see if Verizon or Sprint comes out with more “world” phones that support both CDMA and roaming on GSM.

    • michael

      So you plan on using a phone for 3 yrs? 18 months for it to be att all around. another 18 months to flip the switch on tmos spectrum

  • Lisalachichona19

    Dam I really want this merger to go tru. I don’t care what anyone says. I have Verizon but I wanna switch cuz I need gsm. Cuz I travel a lot to Spain to visit family. And I don’t wanna get T-Mobile cuz my boyfriend has it and it sucks inside buildings. I heard at&t works better that’s why I might be switching to at&t if the merger go tru. So I can enjoy that expanded coverage here and have no problems when I travel overseas cuz Verizon becomes useless in Europe.

    • nps_ca

      This is an idiotic reason to want the merger to go thru. Your trips to Spain on a single operator for GSM will mean AT&T will milk roaming rates much more than they to today. In other countries with a near monopoly or duopoly the regulator steps up and caps rates. We have an FCC that chooses to have a hands off market approach – in light of that you damn well better see that this merger should not go through as this kills market balanced competition. If this merger MUST go through then the FCC should step up and say that they will put rate caps on services ; AT&T can then choose to proceed with a merger in a highly regulated market or step back. TMO’s sale price shows it is VERY valuable to AT&T – AT&T’s approach isn’t to buy TMO to improve coverage; it’s to kill a competitor – be proactive at it to prevent someone else from acquiring TMO. I can’t believe you see it as simply as AT&T positions it? Do you honestly trust everything said by some corporate exec as fact?

      • Lisalachichona19

        Read ma lips I don’t care! About roaming charges I have a good job so I can afford it .. everything. Else u said may be tru I still don’t care I’m switching to att if the merger goes tru period.

        • nps_ca

          You do realize the rest of the world has ULTRA low roaming rates; the US has ultra high rates that I can assure you will get higher… You say you can afford it? So $1.49 a min and 15 USD a MB … I’d like your job….

        • Anonymous

          There are a couple of international phones like the HTC incredible 2 if you don’t mind HIGH roaming charges . That is actually a very impressive phone .

        • Anonymous

          if your highness could afford it then why don’t you just buy a phone in spain? o_O

      • ColdFeet

        Personally, I thought that was an idiotic reply to Lisalachichona19.

        Isn’t the idea of taking a GSM phone overseas so that you DON’T have to pay the high roaming fees? You get the phone unlocked, pop in a prepaid SIM from a local provider and you save a few bucks.

        And @670f9bb4c3c6cfbf0440697674a49978:disqus , AT&T doesn’t need to buy T-Mobile to “kill a competitor”. T-Mobile’s doing a fine job of killing themselves.

        • nps_ca

          Funny 6 people seemed to agree with me and really no one with the OP.

          AT&T will openly unlock any device to use a prepaid SIM? You sure of that? I’ve had hell when I was an AT&T customer to get any device unlocked. With TMO I’ve had each new device unlocked within a week.

          TMO dying is window dressing by AT&T and DT to get the merger through – have you seen full TMO financials and not just the “we lost subs” data – Those of us who are DT shareholders have the full financial data for DT and their subs – TMO’s situation is NOT as dire as those here keep propagating. You believe AT&T on being trustworthy with the financial data? If TMO is so fricking pathetic explain the valuation AT&T has placed on the acquisition. If TMO is killing it self soo bad it’s valuation would be 1/4′th of what AT&T proposed on the purchase – you can’t explain it any other way.

        • ColdFeet

          You might wanna grab a drink and get comfortable. Here’s my response…

          Yeah, just because 6 people “like” your comment doesn’t really mean much to me. The majority of people on this site would agree with anyone who says the merger shouldn’t go through, even if you say it’s because your dog ran away last week and an AT&T commercial came on right afterwards. It’s just the way it is on this site. It is, after all, a T-Mobile blog.

          As for their reasons for not wanting it to go through? Everything from AT&T having a monopoly on the GSM market, to bad customer service, to rumors, to expensive rate plans, to whatever. Most people, though, really don’t know what they’re talking about and only think that their rates are going to go up. That would make anyone not want a merger to go through. My rates, IF I was forced to change to an AT&T plan, would only go up $10 a month. But that $10 will get me a few hundred more minutes, better coverage, more “mobile to mobile” numbers to call (which could mean that I could lower my plan and end up SAVING money), and a plan for an actual 4G network. That’s worth it to me.

          No, I have not tried getting an unlock code from AT&T and I’ve only done it once, maybe twice, with T-Mobile. But their policy isn’t much different than T-Mobile’s when it comes to unlock codes.No, I have not seen the full financial report. I’m going by what T-Mobile, not AT&T, released last week and what was posted on TMoNews.com. Did T-Mobile lose customers? Yes. Have they been losing customers? Yes. But you’ll have to forgive me for not realizing that losing customers was the way to make money in the wireless industry. Listen, T-Mobile may still be profitable, but it’s only a matter of time before they’re not.

          Why does AT&T want T-Mobile? I can only go by what I read and what I hear. But I’m sure the main goal wasn’t to “eliminate a competitor”.

          Most people continue to rag on AT&T for wanting to buy T-Mobile. You have to remember that DT is selling T-Mobile. Why? I have no idea, since you suggested that those financial reports show that T-Mobile USA is a highly profitable company. Why would anybody wanna sell something so freakin’ profitable??

          Look, I used to be a big T-Mobile fan and it was just until recently that I started leaning towards the exit. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in 4 contracts with various expiration dates. But I have my reasons and most of it comes down to wanting a little bit more than what T-Mobile has to offer. I don’t really care about the cost. I care about how reliable my service is and T-Mobile hasn’t been all that reliable for me the past year or so. I don’t care how cheap my service is. If I can’t download an email or make a call, whatever I’m paying is going to be too much.

          Whew…

          Now lemme take a breath and get back to American Chopper. I have a couple episodes to catch up on…

        • Mopar6464

          You can get any unlock code for any phone in minutes for about $25.00 on most unlocking websites all day long.

          Of course no carrier really wants to give you the unlock code easily because they may wonder if your going to leave them soon and that’s not what they want. So their going to make it a little difficult so they can hold on to you as a customer and make more money.

          T-Mobile might as well put a gun to their own heads now. They been killing it self for a long time now by not offering full 3G coverage before jumping into the HSPA and horrible inside call quality.

          DT does’nt want to be in the USA cell market and if this g AT&T buy-out don’t through DT will just let T-Mobile USA break into pieces. They don’t care , the
          y want out.

    • TMO4LIFE

      I hate how everyone says Tmobile reception sucks in buildings….I have had TMO for many years, and have no issues with reception indoors..in fact where I work, inside the building ATT has no reception

      • Lisalachichona19

        Well I also hate that some people like u say u never had problems with T-Mobile inside buildings just cuz u probably live in a small town amd T-Mobile works great doesn’t mean t-mobile works great everywhere. If u come over here to Los Angeles which is a huge city u will see that in many high rise buildings and elevators T-Mobile has no bars and says no service while att has 2-4 bars of service and works fine. Also many buisness people that work in them high rise buildings all have either Verizon or at&t. I kno cuz I seen it with my own eyes. U ask them how come u dnt have T-Mobile? They all give u the same answer cuz I like having reception all the way to the 50th floor and inside elevators and t-mobile doesn’t provide that that’s why I have att or verizon cuz they do provide signal in all the floors even in the last floor.

      • Jabombardier

        Agreed. I had them for 9 years and I have gon from no coverage to strong coverage in my apartment with 4g over time. But at my job along with at&t, data coverage is choppy and calls get cut off in the elevator. I go to another building, and the network is strong.

    • Jabombardier

      Not true. I am around 3 at&t customers as I type and there phones don’t work any better than mine. and they have a lot of dropped calls. We are in a building. At&t’s coverage isn’t all that. Even after the merger it will be the same.

  • pagoflex

    CWA approving the merger is meaningless. What would AT&T do if their union disapproved of it? exactly. The merger shouldn’t happen but will because of T-Mobile’s poor numbers.

    • bryan

      The merger is good for the CWA even though it is bad for consumers. CWA only cares about union workers and T-Mobile is non union so the CWA could care less about existing T-Mobile employees losing their jobs because of this merger. CWA union numbers will go up from the remaining former T-mobile employees that are retained after the merger and that is all they are concerned with.

  • Anonymous

    and years………

    -_-

  • Omgimsogay11

    Yeaya go at&t, t- mobile u can suck it <3

    • http://profiles.google.com/mahmoud824 Mahmoud Shaaban

      You can suck Carly’s big pink penis!

  • bryan

    Larry Cohn, President of the Communication Workers of America does not care if the merger creates jobs overall. He only cares if the job creates UNION jobs.

    T-Mobile is non union and ATT is, so this union would create increase union numbers as former T-Mobile employees become ATT employees. This is good for the union even though there would be fewer overall jobs as redundant positions get eliminated as the companies combine.

    • OldPro

      Absolutely agree, was thinking the same thing. I suspect Larry Cohn would not think this was a great deal if T-Mobile was the buyer (and would probably create non-union jobs). I thought about pointing this out to our Minnesota Senators, but they are both Democrats so it is probably pointless.

      On the other hand, if you had to work for AT&T, you may be better off in a union anyway.

      • Unionwageslave

        I agree… as a union employee I long ago came to the conclusion that union leadership is interested in their jobs, not members. Members are dues payers first and foremost. Slices of dues go to local, regional and national leadership, but most of the political spending has pitifully little to do with the “labor movement”.

      • Jabombardier

        The same thing I am thinking. There area lot of jobs out there that are non-union that workers are unfairly treated and unfairly compensated. for example, the Ikea factory in Virginia. Unfortunately I buy from them before the fact.

  • http://twitter.com/timmyjoe42 Timothy J. Bennett

    How long is this circus expected to take before a ruling comes down?

  • MIKEEEEE

    http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=data&lat=36.23511155891555&lon=-88.08475363123011&sci=4

    this is why i’m going to verizon.

    they tout their LTE plans but, right now i have to go 50 miles just to get ATT 3G.

    no better than t-mo now.

    what good is an iphone to me?

    at least with a wifi capable t-mo ANDROID i got great service @home and verizon has 3g outside my door.

    let’s see what an iphone can do in my living room?

    i don’t give a rat’s ass who provides the service but, provide the service and not the 97% bullshit.

    att’s current coverage map has a lot of 3% on it.

    the nearest sprint anything coverage at all is 35 miles away, so dan hesse, STFU.

    • phone head

      Verizon is the better side…

  • phone head

    come over to the better side…the Verizon lte side

    • http://twitter.com/ITMedCEO Derrick Ford

      Where is Verizon LTE??? It is like waiting for Fios… It may never come to your area… (fast enough anyway)

  • Erik

    I don’t understand why everyone is against the AT&T merger. I have had T-Mobile for 10 years and its been great for the price but the service its really bad. My 3G phones goes in and out of edge all the time and service in buildings is bad. If AT&T doesn’t buy out T-Mobile then T-Moible is just going to wither away. If you can’t already see, T-Mobile is losing costumers by the day. It would only help T-Mobile costumers have better service. If only AT&T could use T-Mobiles costumer service then we would have the best of both worlds.

    • nps_ca

      It doesn’t help TMO customers if their rates go up 20%… A lot of TMO users have acceptable coverage and are NOT waiting in the wings for AT&T – as our service works today just fine.

    • Anonymous

      I would rather deal with the ” in and out of edge” coverage and pay 25% less. than pay Higher! IMHO!

    • Mystro Biggz

      AT&T is the Anti Christ of cell service. AT&T will NEVER have my business. They are one of the WORST companies I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. AT&T and APPLE can run off together because they both are crap.

      For the love of God, why didn’t Google buy Tmobile and give us Gmobile???? Save us Google!!!! Tmobile customers will be forgotten by the Satan that is AT&T!!!!

  • BigMixxx

    Here is the real…

    1) ATT CEO NEVER STRAIGHT ANSWERED a QUESTION. HE flailed his hands tooo much.

    2) Dan Hesse, being a former ATT employee, and head of the wireless division, can validly say, “it’s not good for business”. I believe that statement alone carriers a lot of weight. So when he says “nothing will stop verizon from buying Sprint” it’s could quite possibly be true.

    3) NO ONE in there right minds want to occur. Most people left att for t mobile. T mobile has to stop the bleeding and Humm had the perfect opportunity by simply saying “Yes, ALL of these guys are competitors”. So now, the bleeding really starts. Take advantage of all of this by getting a net gain of 6 million new customers. We then have a huge say so in the way T mobile will be integrated.

    4) DOJ really should block the merger. False statements such as broadband support, etc, etc, etc has nothing at all do do with this.

    5) ATT will CONTROL more spectrum (something I said in bunch of posts before) and sit on it, because it will want to dominate the airwaves (Dan hesse does not feel this, he KNOWS this)

    6) ATT is right about their specturm. It is overcrowded. The simple principle of buy vs. build applies here tremendously. Mobile phone developers have invested in T mobile usa by delivering Phones.

    7) Google, loves to test on T mobile. A merger means ATT will get first run on iPhone, Google Phones, RIM phones, Nokia, etc. Dominance.

    8) Net neutrality is so much a part of this discussion. Att has the upper hands because they are trying to divert attention from this issue alone.

    Net of this: Be against the merger. Allow T mobile to go public on it’s on…Fail or succeed will be determined by the investors. If it’s currently valued at 39 billion, with 20 billion in revenues, it’s worth just as much as sprint. Go public and let’s see what happens.

    • Anonymous

      The problem is that T-mobile USA isn’t an independent company. The DT shareholders want as much money as possible from a sale of T-mobile USA. On the public markets, T-mobile USA is only be worth a fraction of what AT&T is paying which means DT takes billions of dollars of losses in the sale. Investors won’t line up to buy into a company that is consistently losing subscribers. With the AT&T sale, DT gets a modest profit.

      No other companies had the financial capital to step up and make a credible offer for T-mobile USA. That says a lot…

  • Anonymous

    DAVID!! BRAVO! Great read. Thanks for summing up today’s events. Now I feel like T-Mobile might have a chance to stand on it’s own :-) *HAPPY MAN* (<__>)/ (<_<) (*_*)/

  • xnifex

    One of the best comments from the whole thing that happened right at the end game from Gigi Sohn: ‘… saying that a behemoth like AT&T competes against [local markets] is like saying that Wal-mart competes against a mom & pop store.”

    • http://tmonews.com David

      He just got a special shout out on Twitter too!

      • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

        Gigi is a woman, isn’t she?

        • xnifex

          Yes

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          That’s what I thought…

        • http://tmonews.com David

          I was referring to the commenter who asked that I used that quote on Twitter. Clearly I know Gigi is a woman.

  • http://twitter.com/AWuzzer A Wu

    I like how when Kohl called them out on being competitors and they started adamantly denying it, both Humm and Stephensen looked really flustered and obviously at a loss of words starting to stutter etc etc. I really hope this merger gets denied and we can just go back to our merry lives…

    • xnifex

      Ha I just told David the same thing. It was funny that Kohl did that.

  • nps_ca

    I think a lot of people here forget… All the statements from AT&T state this is a merger, but every word from at&t CEO Stephenson implies this is an acquisition by AT&T of TMO-US. This means as stated AWS spectrum (UMTS/HSPA1700) gets recycled into LTE spectrum – meaning TMO devices over time become useless on 3G. This also means that TMO customer service 95% of us like is GONE and replaced with AT&T customer service – a huge reason why many of us who were on AT&T left to TMO.

    A merger is a farce – it’s not bringing the best of TMO to AT&T; if Stephenson was more open to state – We like this from TMO and expect to have their processes for this or that, etc at AT&T – some us wouldn’t be as hostile to this “merger”. It’s clear AT&T’s will is going to be the forefront of the company – and for many of us it’s just unacceptable – we will defend TMO – even if their parent refuses to, as many of us came to TMO to avoid the issues with AT&T and Verizon and others. We’ve been with them through the rough, through the good and we will defend the market competitiveness that is out there today because of companies like TMO and Sprint.

    This isn’t just AT&T acquiring TMO for Spectrum as AT&T has plenty of spectrum poorly allocated and poorly deployed – TMO is able in major markets with MUCH less spectrum support a greater number of users per active cell site. TMO is not going to fix AT&T’s issues – there are major fundamental network planning problems that AT&T neglects and other carriers like Verizon, Sprint and TMO understand. Complain about TMO’s coverage but where they have RF footprint they have a functional network. On our work AT&T 3G laptop modems; I can be on 3-4 bars and have 100Kb or less bandwidth – I’ve NEVER seen this on TMO – Call AT&T customer service and the general response is “deal with it”….. My major beef is there are likely other purchases for TMO who are now shut out from growing into national players (Think the larger regional operators).

    Bottom line is: If TMO is such a wickedly defective network operator with major financial issues, please explain ARPU up when most networks are losing ARPU; TMO’s sub losses were offset by MVNO 400K user gain, 4.63 billion in Revenue (in a down market), $135 million profit. Yes the numbers suck from the previous quarter last year, but I can identify 20 network operators worldwide who’ve had cyclical quarters like this and recovered within 18 months. The data out there is made it to look like TMO is on its death throes – it’s NOT, and there are DT shareholders who are questioning what is being done – TMO US has greater numbers still than TMO Germany. AT&T’s pure move is to shut down a potential competitor who may wish to acquire TMO and do it in a manner that prevents a new competitor and also removes an incumbent provider. Thoroughly disingenuous of AT&T and TMO’s CEO to state they are not competitors… A merger, hardly; this is AT&T buying back market share on the backs of consumers – who WILL see higher rates. Stephenson wouldn’t swear to anything otherwise today – and I hope the DOJ see’s this for what it is. Anti-consumer, monopolistic and not a benefit to the American consumer.

    • xnifex

      ‘… who WILL see higher rates. Stephenson wouldn’t swear to anything otherwise today”

      - I really hope that that point sinks in. He was asked to swear under oath & sidestepped the issue.

  • http://twitter.com/DeadZones DeadZones.com
  • truth be told

    IMO: tmobile is losing customers because they don’t treat their current customers the right way! why is it that they are losing customers by the day, when they have their best lineup of cell phones ever?! Plus the price to be with tmobile is super cheap compared to the others. if you don’t take care of your people they will turn their backs on you.

    I’ve been with tmobile for almost 4 years and my contracts been up for almost 2 years! I was going upgrade to the mytouch 4g but found out i had to pay a higher price for the phone compared to new tmobile customers. while my sister in law who is with at&t got the iphone 4 for less than 100 bucks because her contract was about to expired and they gaved her a discount only a month after the iphone 4 was released.

    fyi: i’m waiting for the iphone 5 on verizon. tmobile can die for all i care now.

    • Anonymous

      It’s more an issue that customers take T-Mobile’s service for granted – they compain, they kick, they scream until they get their own way – demanding Free Free Free and I want it now – something that T-Mobile honors far too often – giving many of the spoiled brats their own way. It’s more along the lines that when the spoiled brats don’t get their own way, that they leave for a different network – in which they begin to bitch about them.

      T-Mobile takes excellent care of their consumers, new and old. If they didn’t take care of their customers or didn’t bother, say like oh, AT&T- they wouldn’t be nailing 1st place in virtually every JD Powers Award for customer service.

      • truth be told

        If they spoil their brats so much why are they still losing their brats to other people? If they take good care of their customers then why are they leaving?

        • Anonymous

          The same reasons people leave AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Taking care of someone doesn’t mean giving them free things when they complain every time. People leave for a multitude of reasons. The largest contributor to the reason drop i’d say is because of the AT&T aquisition news, as many people leaving already came from AT&T and want no part in them.

        • truth be told

          I understand what your trying to say but I’m not calling out for tmobile to give me things for free. They need to do things that appreciates their current customers. Whatever it may be. I’m just saying! their current customers. Whatever it may be. I’m just saying!

        • HTC4Eva

          You’re as dumb as your sister with her iphone…  You clearly know less about T-mobile than you do money, or cellphones in general.  FYI they DO honor their customers, and they DO have the best competitive pricing plans.  I’m sure you forgot all about the hundreds if not thousands of people locked into the “kids are free until 2012″ plans Tmo had out a while ago…. Idiot.

    • Jonrodx956

      Boohoo. Stop whining, loser. There are reasons why you don’t get good deals…maybe you haven’t paid much? Maybe you have a bad payment history? Maybe you don’t bring in enough revenue? And I bet you want to be excluded from the data requirement…sheesh. ignorant fool

      • truth be told

        I have a good payment history, never missed a bill. You can stop whining about Tmobile because they can suck it for all I care! Your the ignorant fool who can’t see the big picture about why or how Tmobile is going down the drain!

        • Cdawg

          Actually, its customers like you always calling in to get something for nothing thats ruining T-Mobile.  Adjustments for mismanaged minutes, phone after phone because its the new one out.  All because you have been with T-Mobile 4ever.  I remember working there, even with thier customer service some people can be helped or made happy.

    • the_truth

      You probably call in for credits not due you–refusing to give adjustments for valid charges is not a customer mistreat.

    • Marco566

      Your sister is also paying a pretty penny for her Iphone services. I check all the time. It’s gunna cost me around $138 a month for AT&T Iphone unlimited (with a business discount) but I have Unlimited Android at T-mobile for only $81 a month UNLIMITED. HUGE price difference. AT&T can give the Iphones away ’cause they are gunna nickel and dime you EVERY month. That Iphone is like a drug! People come back to AT&T every month and pay more and more even though they know they are getting screwed.

      • truth be told

        She makes good money so I highly doubt she cares about how much she pays for her monthly bill.

        • gotohellattapple

          If she is making enough money to buy and willingly chose to spend about twice the amount per month for an outdated, evil, and ultimately stupid fucking device, then she is an idiot.  Just like anyone else with a stupid ass iphone 4, that was outdated about 3 months before it ever launched, or with any phone on at&t. If you have either an apple product or something with at&t on it, you’re stupid or you just enjoy pissing money into the wind.

    • Hereme

      I could have gotten the Mytouch 4G, G2 or Vibrant 4G for free…because I had a new contract. Look at the website, call 611…don’t whine without looking at the options. Gez….

      • truth be told

        Thanks for the advice but I’m done with Tmobile and don’t want to be stuck in a contract knowing that At&t will be buying out Tmobile.

        • Saramc

           Your contract will void after the buyout.  You can leave at that point.  It’s smart to stay with Tmo and leave when the merger occurs for a cheaper party.  The contract is voided once AT&T takes over.

        • CDawg

          Contracts will not be void after buyout.  Either company isnt planning on losing customers by letting you go.  Sheesh! 

    • Anonymous

      I read this string of comments and although you have already been blistered in this thread I have to call you out for a few of your nonsensical claims.  New Customers almost never get better pricing at T-Mobile than current customers, the only case you would see that happen is for existing customers trying to add a line online.  More often than not, customers renewing qualify for “same as new or better than new” pricing.  That statement is incorrect.  As far as the iPhone 4, I’ve never heard of AT&T discounting this device below MSRP, they dont have much wiggle room with the iproducts as much of it is dictated from deathstar itself.  Even if this were true, which I doubt it is, you’ll still get buttf*cked on the bill, and I saw your argument about her having the money to pay, but then that makes the whole point you were trying to make moot doesnt it?  If she has enough to pay a ridiculous monthly bill and as you put it wouldnt care, why would she care about an iphone discounted below MSRP?  Makes no sense.  It would be like T-Mobile giving you a free G2x but then charging you $40 a month more than regular customers.  Everyone has an opinion and no amount of techie geeks on a blog will coerce you into loving tmobile.  I will tell you however you will get very little sympathy or “likes” on a website catering to tmobile fans complaining about how you dont know to work the system to get what you want or stating nonsense like “t-mobile doesnt take care of their existing customers”.  JD Power 11x out of 13 says otherwise.  Good luck on Verizon’s slow like molasses 3G btw, that iPhone 5 WILL NOT have LTE, and you can remember you heard it here first.  Apple never gambles on products which is why their innovation has been garbage since the first iphone.  They will not go with 4G until it is rolled out in enough cities to justify them advertising it.  Adversely LTE is the destroyer of battery life and it has been one of Apple’s claims to fame with the iphone.  You’ll be waiting on that 2012 iphone if you want something with 4G speeds.  

      You should try harder or stop complaining next time you attempt to post something here.  Enjoy Verizon.

    • CDawg

      If your contract was up then you dont know what your talkinga bout. 

    • WholesomeGx

       Haha omg this is so funny that i don’t know where to start. First, Tmobile wouldn’t charge your more than a new customer they actually charge you 16 bucks less.
      Lets give an example:
      Mytouch 4g Upgrade price: 199.99 (after 50 mail in rebate) + tax + upgrade fee of 18.
      Mytouch 4g New activation price: 199.99 (after 50 mail in rebate) + tax + Activation fee of 35.

      They sell it less, what you’re complaining about is your sister in law haggled with AT&T to get a better deal on a upgraded phone. Which by the way T-mobile would have done as well. Trust me, she didn’t get that deal in the store, she got it through their loyalty department or customer care. You should have done the same, be smart about it.

      The price is cheaper than competitors= yes, this makes them not care about their customers? = no. Why? because they’ve won JD Powers customer care award more than any other cell phone company. That pretty much proves the fact they help their customers more than anyone else…just because you got screwed (from what it seems because you don’t know how things work) doesn’t mean the company doesn’t care about it’s customers.

      Final thing, you are one customer that had a bad experience…you want to hear more sob stories like yours? Get a hold of a Verizon customer…listen to their complaints about bills never being the same and charges they’ve never heard of. Did you even research Verizon before you decide to go to them with the Iphone 5?…look up the fact that they were CAUGHT charging customers web when their customers weren’t using any…and now they have to pay back $$$ to people they have wrongfully charged. Haha enjoy that man :)

  • Brian_mac

    T-mobile is a completely intact “stand-alone” NATIONAL cell phone network/company with a TON of spectrum for AT&T’s LTE network. This buyout is good for both companies because AT&T gets tons of spectrum for LTE (and greater voice 1900mhz spectrum density) and T-mobile gets 8% of AT&T mobile stock AND free (or cheap) roaming in the USA for its European T-mobile partners/operation. If you are not aware T-mobile parent is a major European Cell phone power. This gives them cheap USA national roaming for Europeans but lessen Americans competition and raises American prices.

    This is NOT, however, good for the consumer and competition in the market place.

    There are several companies that can be asked to purchase T-mobile-USA if Deutsche Telekom (it’s parent) wants out of the USA market so bad. There is Vodafone in Canada, Orange in Europe, O2 in Europe or even Virgin (he has a ton of money at Virgini). Deutche (present owner of Tmo) is a Euro operation so let another Euro buy it and keep 4 functional NATIONAL cell companies in the USA that will keep prices LOW and competition high.

    Sprint will fall apart after this merger (it will and all analyst say it). We will then only have two high priced Cell phone companies (that control 80% of the market) and a bunch of tiny regionals like MetroPCS and US Celluar. Boost mobile is actually a fully owned operation/creation of Sprint so it would fail with Sprint.

    If the government is still working for consumers and its people? The deal will not go through. This is not the Republic of Apple were we must do anything to get Iphone users more spectrum. Leave that to APPLE and its carriers to BUY more spectrum from the FCC. Did anyone ever think Apple should start buying some spectrum???? They DRAIN the companies that use the IPhone of a TON of spectrum! Blackberries use barely a tenth of an Iphones 3g spectrum. The Android based phone also use less.

    Come on government, actually work for the people for change instead of Big Business all the time.

  • Brian_mac

    T-mobile is a completely intact “stand-alone” NATIONAL cell phone network/company with a TON of spectrum for AT&T’s LTE network. This buyout is good for both companies because AT&T gets tons of spectrum for LTE (and greater voice 1900mhz spectrum density) and T-mobile gets 8% of AT&T mobile stock AND free (or cheap) roaming in the USA for its European T-mobile partners/operation. If you are not aware T-mobile parent is a major European Cell phone power. This gives them cheap USA national roaming for Europeans but lessen Americans competition and raises American prices.

    This is NOT, however, good for the consumer and competition in the market place.

    There are several companies that can be asked to purchase T-mobile-USA if Deutsche Telekom (it’s parent) wants out of the USA market so bad. There is Vodafone in Canada, Orange in Europe, O2 in Europe or even Virgin (he has a ton of money at Virgini). Deutche (present owner of Tmo) is a Euro operation so let another Euro buy it and keep 4 functional NATIONAL cell companies in the USA that will keep prices LOW and competition high.

    Sprint will fall apart after this merger (it will and all analyst say it). We will then only have two high priced Cell phone companies (that control 80% of the market) and a bunch of tiny regionals like MetroPCS and US Celluar. Boost mobile is actually a fully owned operation/creation of Sprint so it would fail with Sprint.

    If the government is still working for consumers and its people? The deal will not go through. This is not the Republic of Apple were we must do anything to get Iphone users more spectrum. Leave that to APPLE and its carriers to BUY more spectrum from the FCC. Did anyone ever think Apple should start buying some spectrum???? They DRAIN the companies that use the IPhone of a TON of spectrum! Blackberries use barely a tenth of an Iphones 3g spectrum. The Android based phone also use less.

    Come on government, actually work for the people for change instead of Big Business all the time.

  • Brian_mac

    T-mobile is a completely intact “stand-alone” NATIONAL cell phone network/company with a TON of spectrum for AT&T’s LTE network. This buyout is good for both companies because AT&T gets tons of spectrum for LTE (and greater voice 1900mhz spectrum density) and T-mobile gets 8% of AT&T mobile stock AND free (or cheap) roaming in the USA for its European T-mobile partners/operation. If you are not aware T-mobile parent is a major European Cell phone power. This gives them cheap USA national roaming for Europeans but lessen Americans competition and raises American prices.

    This is NOT, however, good for the consumer and competition in the market place.

    There are several companies that can be asked to purchase T-mobile-USA if Deutsche Telekom (it’s parent) wants out of the USA market so bad. There is Vodafone in Canada, Orange in Europe, O2 in Europe or even Virgin (he has a ton of money at Virgini). Deutche (present owner of Tmo) is a Euro operation so let another Euro buy it and keep 4 functional NATIONAL cell companies in the USA that will keep prices LOW and competition high.

    Sprint will fall apart after this merger (it will and all analyst say it). We will then only have two high priced Cell phone companies (that control 80% of the market) and a bunch of tiny regionals like MetroPCS and US Celluar. Boost mobile is actually a fully owned operation/creation of Sprint so it would fail with Sprint.

    If the government is still working for consumers and its people? The deal will not go through. This is not the Republic of Apple were we must do anything to get Iphone users more spectrum. Leave that to APPLE and its carriers to BUY more spectrum from the FCC. Did anyone ever think Apple should start buying some spectrum???? They DRAIN the companies that use the IPhone of a TON of spectrum! Blackberries use barely a tenth of an Iphones 3g spectrum. The Android based phone also use less.

    Come on government, actually work for the people for change instead of Big Business all the time.

  • Brian_mac

    T-mobile is a completely intact “stand-alone” NATIONAL cell phone network/company with a TON of spectrum for AT&T’s LTE network. This buyout is good for both companies because AT&T gets tons of spectrum for LTE (and greater voice 1900mhz spectrum density) and T-mobile gets 8% of AT&T mobile stock AND free (or cheap) roaming in the USA for its European T-mobile partners/operation. If you are not aware T-mobile parent is a major European Cell phone power. This gives them cheap USA national roaming for Europeans but lessen Americans competition and raises American prices.

    This is NOT, however, good for the consumer and competition in the market place.

    There are several companies that can be asked to purchase T-mobile-USA if Deutsche Telekom (it’s parent) wants out of the USA market so bad. There is Vodafone in Canada, Orange in Europe, O2 in Europe or even Virgin (he has a ton of money at Virgini). Deutche (present owner of Tmo) is a Euro operation so let another Euro buy it and keep 4 functional NATIONAL cell companies in the USA that will keep prices LOW and competition high.

    Sprint will fall apart after this merger (it will and all analyst say it). We will then only have two high priced Cell phone companies (that control 80% of the market) and a bunch of tiny regionals like MetroPCS and US Celluar. Boost mobile is actually a fully owned operation/creation of Sprint so it would fail with Sprint.

    If the government is still working for consumers and its people? The deal will not go through. This is not the Republic of Apple were we must do anything to get Iphone users more spectrum. Leave that to APPLE and its carriers to BUY more spectrum from the FCC. Did anyone ever think Apple should start buying some spectrum???? They DRAIN the companies that use the IPhone of a TON of spectrum! Blackberries use barely a tenth of an Iphones 3g spectrum. The Android based phone also use less.

    Come on government, actually work for the people for change instead of Big Business all the time.

  • Brian_mac

    T-mobile is a completely intact “stand-alone” NATIONAL cell phone network/company with a TON of spectrum for AT&T’s LTE network. This buyout is good for both companies because AT&T gets tons of spectrum for LTE (and greater voice 1900mhz spectrum density) and T-mobile gets 8% of AT&T mobile stock AND free (or cheap) roaming in the USA for its European T-mobile partners/operation. If you are not aware T-mobile parent is a major European Cell phone power. This gives them cheap USA national roaming for Europeans but lessen Americans competition and raises American prices.

    This is NOT, however, good for the consumer and competition in the market place.

    There are several companies that can be asked to purchase T-mobile-USA if Deutsche Telekom (it’s parent) wants out of the USA market so bad. There is Vodafone in Canada, Orange in Europe, O2 in Europe or even Virgin (he has a ton of money at Virgini). Deutche (present owner of Tmo) is a Euro operation so let another Euro buy it and keep 4 functional NATIONAL cell companies in the USA that will keep prices LOW and competition high.

    Sprint will fall apart after this merger (it will and all analyst say it). We will then only have two high priced Cell phone companies (that control 80% of the market) and a bunch of tiny regionals like MetroPCS and US Celluar. Boost mobile is actually a fully owned operation/creation of Sprint so it would fail with Sprint.

    If the government is still working for consumers and its people? The deal will not go through. This is not the Republic of Apple were we must do anything to get Iphone users more spectrum. Leave that to APPLE and its carriers to BUY more spectrum from the FCC. Did anyone ever think Apple should start buying some spectrum???? They DRAIN the companies that use the IPhone of a TON of spectrum! Blackberries use barely a tenth of an Iphones 3g spectrum. The Android based phone also use less.

    Come on government, actually work for the people for change instead of Big Business all the time.

    • Anonymous

      If there are so many people wanting to buy T-mobile USA, why didn’t they make an offer? DT was openly selling T-mobile USA to anyone and yet AT&T was the only one that made a credible offer.

      There’s no cost savings or synergies with foreign owners which is why nobody else is interested.

      • Brian_mac

        If the deal fails? Tmobile USA gets 3billion in cash from AT&T, all of AT&T’s present AWS frequencies/spectrum, and complete roaming on AT&T networks (I think AT&T would pretty sure this would go through or they would not have offered all of this…lol). A good deal for anyone who wants to buy T-mobile. NOW. No EUROPEAN companies were contacted about buying T-mobile! Sprint was even SHOCKED the deal was privately done. HAVE an OPEN bid NOW! Promise you will have a buyer! Better if it is Canada or Europe.

        Tmoible (Deutche Telekom) wants the deal because they will own part of AT&T mobile and have a complete USA roaming agreement for all it’s European customers (AT&T also gets to roam on Tmobile networks throughout Europe).

        Virgin Mobile, O2 or Orange would definitely buy Tmobile NOW for 35-39 Billion. AT&T has sweetened the deal with the ‘free’ three billion to the buyer, ‘free’ AWS spectrum, and ‘FREE’ AT&T roaming for any Euro buyer. AT&T should have never written all that in the agreement but it’s good for Tmobile customers if the deal fails. And good for a new buyer because Tmobile usa then has even MORE assets acquired for FREE from AT&T.

        • Anonymous

          there’s no evidence that a foreign owner would want T-mobile USA. Especially in its’ current condition of losing subscribers for years. Cite me one article from a credible source. AT&T saves tens of billion of dollars in the merger. Foreign owners wouldn’t get any of that as they have to manage from overseas. It would make no business sense at all. It’s the same problem DT has right now in managing T-mobile USA.

          Sprint had their chance at the negotiating table. They couldn’t even get to the offer stage as they wanted T-mobile USA for cheap.

          Also, the three billion dollar breakup fee could just make T-mobile USA more expensive to buy. Any bidders would now have to cough up more money on top of what they were bidding before. DT is the one that ends up with the big payday in that scenario as there’s no way that all that money gets left with T-mobile USA.

        • Brian_mac

          Anti-Trust Laws are not what is good for a large company, it is what is good for the consumers and market. The laws were made to protect consumers against large monopoly building (buying competitors instead of building up your own company). I don’t care if AT&T saves money by buying T-mobile instead of buying spectrum and building more towers. I care about what is good for consumers. NOT JUST AT&T consumers either.

          At this point, we don’t need foreign owners to make offers to prove anti-trust. We just need to prove this is not good for competition (which is self-evident) for the Anti-Trust to kick in. And lets be serious, this DOES raise prices. AT&T has dropped non of my U-verse TV prices or my land line prices as it buys things up. Prices didn’t go down after the Cingular/AT&T merger. This buyout will not lower AT&T cell phone costs for consumers at all. It will just solidify AT&T as THE cell GIANT.

          Logically, it is beneficial for Orange or O2 to own here because they can allow all Europeans roaming throughout the United States at the same price they pay at home for service.

          Bidders don’t necessarily have to cough up more if T-mobile gets money and spectrum from AT&T, it just makes Tmo more attractive to buy. If they deny the merger,we would then still have 4 national cell phone companies and not TWO.

          Yes, DT makes out well in this deal as I mentioned they would own part of AT&T with a board member and get roaming for their Euro partners. T-m0 (DT) make out well. AT&T makes out just as well because they get a pre-built tower system and a ton of spectrum for a fraction of what it costs to build towers or buy spectrum from the FCC.

          This is good for the two companies but how is it good for the average American? I don’t care about DT or AT&T’s balance sheets (that isn’t what Anti-trust is concerned with).

        • Anonymous

          there’s no evidence that a foreign owner would want T-mobile USA. Especially in its’ current condition of losing subscribers for years. Cite me one article from a credible source. AT&T saves tens of billion of dollars in the merger. Foreign owners wouldn’t get any of that as they have to manage from overseas. It would make no business sense at all. It’s the same problem DT has right now in managing T-mobile USA.

          Sprint had their chance at the negotiating table. They couldn’t even get to the offer stage as they wanted T-mobile USA for cheap.

          Also, the three billion dollar breakup fee could just make T-mobile USA more expensive to buy. Any bidders would now have to cough up more money on top of what they were bidding before. DT is the one that ends up with the big payday in that scenario as there’s no way that all that money gets left with T-mobile USA.

        • Anonymous

          there’s no evidence that a foreign owner would want T-mobile USA. Especially in its’ current condition of losing subscribers for years. Cite me one article from a credible source. AT&T saves tens of billion of dollars in the merger. Foreign owners wouldn’t get any of that as they have to manage from overseas. It would make no business sense at all. It’s the same problem DT has right now in managing T-mobile USA.

          Sprint had their chance at the negotiating table. They couldn’t even get to the offer stage as they wanted T-mobile USA for cheap.

          Also, the three billion dollar breakup fee could just make T-mobile USA more expensive to buy. Any bidders would now have to cough up more money on top of what they were bidding before. DT is the one that ends up with the big payday in that scenario as there’s no way that all that money gets left with T-mobile USA.

        • macman37

          From some of the sources that I’ve read, Phil Humm is very clever and knows how to get the job done. He’s probably agreeing with AT&T and giving the FCC and DoJ the reasons why the merger should go through, so that they can shoot them down – allowing T-Mobile to take advantage of the $3 billion if this merger does not go through. He, himself, knows that this deal won’t get approved due its’ affect on the competition, and wants an easy $3 billion to help expand T-Mobile 4G network; that’s why he’s possibly playing possum. Let’s just hope that crying Sprint is being aggressive with their transition of WiMaxx to LTE with their Project Leapfrog; so that the very original plan of Deutsche Telekom buying them out when they’ve transitioned their network to LTE happens – and Deutsche Telekom keeps T-Mobile USA alive by merging Sprint and T-Mobile USA under the name T-Mobile USA.

        • Susanharp

          I prefer a DT sell to Vodafone or Orange. The CEO’s of Orange and O2 have already said that DT has mismanaged the company and it wasn’t that hard to run Tmobile USA, DT just made alot of mistakes.

          I think it is best to keep 4 phone companies in the USA.

        • Leroytwiggins

          nah that not it see once tmobile agreed to the deal they are not able to withdraw only way tmobile will not sell is if fcc says no.

          ps i work for tmobile and it is getting a little crazy/  

  • Hbsurf30

    One disagreement about the CWA and approval of this deal in regards to them not approving a deal that wouldn’t create jobs. The CWA would approve this deal because AT&T retail reps and network employees are represented by the CWA. This means all T-Mobile employees representing in these jobs would be then forced to join the CWA too. That’s more members for them

  • http://twitter.com/wrg25 W!LL

    i hope the deal never happen…..

  • http://profiles.google.com/femmefatale.atlanta S L

    From your mouth to God’s ears. When I first heard about AT&T buying out T-mobile, I literally had tears starting to come to my eyes. I’ve worked for AT&T in the past for at least six years in the wireless and online fields, and know some of the tactics they use with customers. Basically getting as much out of them as possible, butting heads till you get to third-tier. Oh, please don’t let this come to be.

  • Alaintucker

     I for one hope that the merger does not go through.  Had Sprint, hated it!  Had ATT, hated it (more so than Sprint)!  Had Verizon, hated it (very overpriced)!  Have TMo and been loving it.  Their customer service is the best of the four service providers and the lowest as far as pricing goes.  Tmo’s biggest problem is the service coverage.  However, it has improved in the past several years and it is getting better and better.  

    Problem with the loss of customers is due to the lack of high end phones and the fact that the public has known that the parent company has had Tmo up for sale for years.  That tends to scare away potential customers.  And the fact that Tmo has never really advertised until recently hurts too.  No Iphone for Tmo was probably the nail that really did them in.  Now there is rumors that the Iphone will be on Tmo’s lineup before long is a slap in the face.  

    If the merger goes through, the “Bells” will almost take over the market again.  Yes, ATT and Verizon are “Bell” companies.  Like the article said, “Humpty Dumpty is slowly being put back together”.  We as consumers cannot let this happen.  Where is the competition?  Verizon and ATT will dominate the entire market and eventually buy out the smaller companies like Metro PCS, Virgin, and such.  Sprint will probably be goobled up by Verizon and be the number one company again if the merger goes through.  Then we will have two companies control US market.  Ma Bell and her sister rules the US market!!!!

    FCC and DoJ must not let this merger go through.  We must keep the market as is and allow for competition.  The smaller providers must not be gobbled up either, for they keep the larger providers in check to a certain degree.  Tmo must not be merged with ATT.  Tmo should merge with Sprint, although the compatibility issues would make it difficult.  ATT is just another company that uses its strength to gouge the consumers.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp

  • FrankJJ

    Wow there are a lot of comments on this article! I have been following this because of the implications for consumers and monopolies in our business culture. Creating jobs and benefitting consumers? I am not sure about that. Benefitting consumers is having more choice in the wireless industry, and creating less companies by merging is not doing that. I believe that the smaller wireless companies, like prepaid, are the way to go for consumers who are looking to vote with their dollar. I have been researching this more and more and prepaid plans like straight talk, which mimic a monthly plan but without the contract, overages, and fees, could be a wise choice for consumers who want to save money without selling their soul to a contract carrier. My two cents…

  • T Mobile Customer

     Without using so many words and “facts” to back up my statements, when I heard of this merger (the day of it’s announcement through the internet, before major news channels picking it up), I prayed so hard that it was a horrible joke. I immediately felt a level of dissatisfaction and betrayal that won’t go away no matter how hard I try to “just live with it”.  Hopefully this is all some sort of smart thinking legal maneuver on T-Mobile’s part to screw over AT&T and get a huge chunk of cash and other goodies from them.

    I’m done ranting…may all T-Mobile customers come out on top in the end, and Godspeed T-Mobile….Godspeed.

  • Anonymous

    The thing you are all ignoring in your anti-merger ranting is that the alternative to a merger is .. T-Mobile shuts down operations and you get to .. drumroll choose att/sprint/verizon or a regional or MVNO instead..

    The big picture is that DT wants out of american market so which is really better? being absorbed into the deathstar/mothership or ending up being a customer of US Cellular, Verizon, MetroPCS or Sprint (or one of the above via proxy?

    All the senate hearings in the world cannot force Deutche Telecom to keep dumping cash into Tmobile forever.. and everyone involved in these discussions/hearings knows it..

    And when it gets to the people who actually make these decisions (the FCC not overly self important senators looking for local news coverage) that is the card that will be played..

    End result.. merger goes through overcovered areas in the top 50 markets get sold off to sprint/verizon/super regionals and maybe just maybe ATT gets ahead of the game in terms of bandwidth to support the insatiable demand for a few months

    • Susan78

       T-mobile can also sell to one of the Euro Cell phone Giants like: O2, Vodafone, Orange or even virgin Mobile. 
      We don’t have to have a Sprint or AT&T merger only option.  There are many more cell phone giants in the rest of the globe.

      • Anonymous

        As I said, your missing the point.. DT has been trying to unload T-Mobile USA for *years* noone is buying…

        Vodaphone is in bed with Verizon on this side of the pond… they gain *NOTHING* from buying T-MO USA..

        The only deal that makes sense is the deal with ATT  OR folding operations and parting the company out (regardless of TMO market share, they have alot of very attractive assets in the states)

        Virgin Mobile btw is an MVNO owned 100% by Sprint in the US, it is completely unrelated from all the other Virgin Mobile brands in canada and the EU..

        Orange is already merged with Tmobile in the UK.. I suspect if they wanted to suddenly buy/start a US arm of Orange they would have done a deal already..

        O2 has never even discussed the idea of going into the US market..

        Again.. the thing to remember is that a merger with ATT is a far better outcome for customers than parting out the assets when DT shuts down TMO USA

        • Marcower

           How is paying 35% more for AT&T Cell service better for present T-mobile customers?  When is paying more better???  Only AT&T customers get anything out of this deal.  If Tmobile customers wanted AT&T, they would be with them now.

          AT&T OVER charges everyone big time.

  • David

     OK. Let me make it clear because most of you do not get it. ATT is in bed with the Administration. They are Union and promised to make the combined entity union which means more votes for the clowns. This will go through faster than most think. Over and done. Do yourself a favor and lock in your plan of choice.

    This is all about power. All the TMOers that get picked up by ATT will be more votes for the power brokers.

    Wake up America

  • Anonymous

    Recall that I said months ago that I would be curious to see T-Mobile’s numbers post acquisition announcement, to determine if the news would have a negative effect on sales, employee behavior, attitude, morale, etc.

    I opined that T-Mobile’s sales, promotions and changes are a desperate attempt to stem the flow of customers to other carriers and/or cause prospective customers to pass on signing with T-Mobile. 

    I submit that the masses have turned their noses up in the air on both AT&T and T-Mobile and have rejected the idea of becoming an AT&T customer.  Look at this survey that just came out.  AT&T and T-Mobile placed third and fourth respectively.

    This coupled with T-Mobile Q1 2011 net loss of almost 100,000 subscribers and prospective customers lost, those who chose to pass on signing with T-Mobile, tells me the carrier is tanking big time. 

    Of course, this may not be a surprise to AT&T and T-Mobile since AT&T projected it will lose 8 million T-Mobile customers on the transition.  Question I have, however, was AT&T referring to losses AFTER the acquisition is approved, or was it taking into account T-Mobile’s losses post acquisition announcement in March 2011?

    Bonus Speculation: I wonder if there’s a contract term in the AT&T/T-Mobile deal that imposes penalties on T-Mobile if it loses X number of customers between announcement date and the date of the acquisition approval. Or does it even matter since AT&T and T-Mobile have accounted for subscriber losses and AT&T really does not care about the customers since they mostly want the spectrum not T-Mobile’s perceived whiny, cheapskate, “K-Mart shoppers.”

    Bonus Comment: Since this is a customer satisfaction index. Unlike JD Powers surveys, that IMHO a company can purchase the results, this is an independent study.  I submit that this does not bode well for T-Mobile.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS430&q=ACSI+LLC.+pdf+T-Mobile+#q=ACSI+LLC+T-Mobile&hl=en&tbo=1&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS430&biw=1266&bih=618&output=search&source=lnt&tbs=qdr:d&sa=X&ei=inHSTaFki86IAu7GoMcK&ved=0CAUQpwUoAg&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=9651d7334bd74320

  • ed

    As long as the legislature is allowed to make decisions about who can merge, we will continue to be victimized by the lack of competition that is the cornerstone for free enterprise.  Competition creates lower prices and greater innovation.  The fewer the competitors, the less likely that competition will remain vigorous.  The big three cereal companies were caught price fixing numerous years back after the price of cereal became so ridiculously high that it was apparent that something was wrong to almost anybody that bought the stuff.  When there are only a few competitors, same can more easily get together and agree upon “fix” the price of the common products and services that they sell.  Rather than continuously fighting for more market share by undercutting each others prices, the big three cereal companies got together and agreed to fix the prices of cereal at certain high levels.  That way, all could be guaranteed a price much higher than the price they would receive if they undercut each other and they could still compete with the others by using methods other than price such as promotions, new products, and other marketing gimmicks.  Had they not done so, the price of cereal would have naturally trended downward from competition and the consumers would be the ones to benefit.

    I don’t know how many competitors it takes to create a competitive market.  Conceivably, it’s possible that far more than three suppliers could agree to fix prices though the more the competitors, the less likely that is to occur.  Regardless, when an industry only has a handful of big players dominating the market, rest assured that consumers are being gouged somehow, even if no ‘formal’ price agreement is reached.  Possibly the latest indication that something is amiss is with broadband modem services at $60.  All but Cricket seemed to have the same price.  Cricket, being a prepaid service with a smaller service area, is an upstart that aggressively prices to attract new customers.  The fact that it could sell the same service for 66% of the others’ prices suggests their was some strong incentive for the big players to cut price as the profit margins were likely very strong.  The fact that none of the big players did so suggests there may have been some communication among them as to what the price should be.  The hard part for the Department of Justice that prosecutes price fixing is that it is difficult to prove that a formal arrangement had actually been put in place.  Since it is so hard to prosecute, the next best thing is to fulfill the spirit of the Sherman Antitrust Act and prevent the market from becoming dominated by just a few competitors to begin with.  Since the legislature makes those decisions and since it also keeps a cozy distance with almost all large corporations, it’s not likely the legislature will be stopping any big players from merging despite the disadvantage to consumers.  Stopping the mergers or other desired activities could stop the massive corporate campaign contributions that give some incumbent legislators a grossly unfair advantage over their competitors.  Apparently, they think this unfair advantage is such a good thing that all their contributors should be allowed to enjoy it also.  Crooks greasing crooks.  It’s the American way. 

  • Sjhskdka

    Philip Humm is a crooked German Jew