Microsoft, Facebook Among Eight Technology Companies Supporting AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

Microsoft joined with Facebook and 6 other technology companies in a filing to the FCC last night in a statement of support for the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.  The deals supporters include Yahoo, Oracle, Research in Motion and VC firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Partners. Their argument is pretty much summed up by saying that the proposed deal is the best way for AT&T to expand their network capacity in order to serve a larger portion of America with high-speed wireless services.

“The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it,” the companies write. “Such action will help to meet the near term wireless broadband needs of consumers and ensure that we are globally competitive as the world increasingly embraces wireless broadband connectivity.”

I do understand why these companies feel the need to put forth such a letter and yet they are both well served by AT&T and T-Mobile separately as much as they would be together and given AT&T’s current record of network management, I’m still skeptical (and so should they) that AT&T can properly build a network that could serve 97% of Americans with LTE. Research in Motion should be much more concerned about keeping their own company from getting gobbled up or disappearing as competitors continue to pull away mores than they should be worried about this proposed deal. And while I’m sure this will give AT&T a needed boost in their “we’ve got real support” as opposed to the small foundations they’ve been touting as vocal supporters they should be focused on the task at hand, improving coverage now.

GeekWire

 

Check the full text of the filing below:

 

Julius Genachowski, Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554

June 6, 2011

WT 11-65: In the Matter of applications of AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG for consent to assign or Transfer Control of licenses and Authorizations

Dear Mr. Chairman,

Today, consumers are increasingly using smart phones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices to wirelessly connect to the Internet and to each other. We expect access to our content, information and services wherever we are. As a result, consumer demand for wireless broadband is dramatically increasing and our wireless networks are struggling to keep pace with the demand. Given the network capacity challenges, policymakers must give meaningful consideration to AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile as a means of addressing their near term wireless broadband capacity needs.

Despite the network challenges presented by the surging consumer demand, the United States must continue to lead in wireless broadband technologies. U.S. companies are at the forefront of driving innovations in devices, applications and services and an ever evolving wireless network is essential to realizing new and innovative offerings. An increasingly robust and efficient wireless network is part of a virtuous innovation cycle and a healthy wireless ecosystem is an important part of our global competitiveness.

AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile represents a near term means of addressing the rising consumer demand. For example, the merged company will be able to leverage a larger network of cell sites allowing greater reuse of spectrum and increasing the wireless broadband capacity of the network. Furthermore, AT&T has indicated that it will migrate the T-Mobile network to LTE technology and offer LTE-based wireless broadband to 97.3 percent of the U.S. population. AT&T has stated that its LTE deployment will bring significant benefits to residents of rural areas and smaller communities, where the benefits of real-time video and similar capabilities are most urgently needed to fill gaps in physical infrastructure for healthcare, education, and other social needs.

The challenge of keeping pace with consumer demand and continuing to lead globally in wireless broadband services and products requires that we tackle the issue on multiple fronts. Many policy related efforts will not be able to quickly address near term capacity needs. The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it. Such action will help to meet the near term wireless broadband needs of consumers and ensure that we are globally competitive as the world increasingly embraces wireless broadband connectivity.

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  • Anonymous

    …and so begins the death of Android. AT&T has been anti-Android since day one. Why wouldn’t they be? They were first to get the Jesus phone. If Sprint gets the iPhone, then it’s game over for Android.

  • Anonymous

    It’s about time you write about someone who supports the merger!

    • Minioninnc

      They are so few and far between its hard to find them. No one favors them, except the AT&T coattail riders.

  • http://www.volkswagen.de Michael

    Two things I dislike the most are both Microsoft & Lamebook :P 

    They can suck it.

    *not an Apple fanboy for the record*

    • Minioninnc

      ^5′s! I am with you all the way there!

      • http://www.volkswagen.de Michael

        and another Amen for you!

    • Tito!

      Google/Twitter/T-Mobile FTW! 

      I wait for the Day, Facebook’s “Empire” collapses. Nothing but inflated egos.
      As for Microsoft, it is your own fault you are where you are in the mobile industry.
      Do not hurt a company just because they are a Milestone in Google’s success.

      FCC, to rid the country of T-Mobile does not “encourage innovation & competition as your site says”,so please, follow your own policies.

      • http://www.volkswagen.de Michael

        Amen to you! :)

      • http://twitter.com/asyncore Serkan Ensoner

        Oh man, I share your sentiments to every word!

  • Tito!

    Anybody think these companies are only supporting this merger because of T-Mobile’s relationship with Google? FAIL!
    I hope Comissions know that this matter should be more influenced by the wireless industry, the consumer, and the politicians at hand.
    Clearly, this merger is out of the question should be denied.
    Do not let big name companies tell you no better, they are in it for themselves; especially when this matter slightly pertains to them.

    T-Mobile, FTW!

  • aktafoo

    At&t most likely paid these companies for their support

    • Derrick227

      LOL THEY ARE PAYING EVERYTHING LOL

  • http://icmmobile.com Cray820

    How much did AT&T pay for this support? Anything that Microsoft would back scars me. Facebook? Really? RIM probably gets more sales form AT&T than any other company.

    I just cant get Past the fact that T-Mobile is selling their network because they are saying that ist inadiquate to maintain but AT&T wants to buy it claiming that it would be a great addition to their network. Its one of the other. Companies have purchased failing companies befor but never have they claimed that they did it to improve their own company.

    • oaussieo

      at&t buying T-Mobile would benefit there company, at&t would no longer have to supply competitive phones as there big rival T-Mobile (as they are GSM) would be no more, they could then charge what they wanted and then start there new adventure, of buying out there next rival Verizon, it’s there master plan. lets just hope the DOJ see’s this and stops it.

  • LC

    Still leaves room for G-Mobile to happen

    :)

    • Noel

      Been saying it a while now…Tmo will be better off being bought by GOOGLE

  • Tiny Tim

    Corporate America, 
    Enjoy having the power to destroy the world. Soon those very people who have destroyed good people and good companies will have nothing. Imagine a world without money and greed. Just think, the man who came up with T-Mobile Carly will be taking over. There is a reason “Inception” was featured in T-mobile commercials. The proposed merger is a direct attack on women and their color, magenta. 

    America is literally giving the power to the leader of the free world. The United States and it’s allies were never fit to lead anything. This world has been a complete failure. Nobody was ever happy. Capitalism is the worst economic model ever invented. Everyone is trying to claim, own and destroy everything!

    • http://www.volkswagen.de Michael

      Sorry Tiny but you make no sense whatsoever. Go live off welfare and government handouts on the account of hard work from the rest of those “nasty Capitalists.”

      This is funny and absurd: “The proposed merger is a direct attack on women and their color, magenta.”

      I do agree with you on this: “Everyone is trying to claim, own and destroy everything!” <<– Nothing new here in all honesty. Humans are greedy for the most part by nature and often in survival mode; i.e., the more I have, the better off I can be…

  • Mopar6464

    The world changes rapidly , and two years is a long time in the cell market. A lot of things can change in two years and cellphones are outdated before their released these days.
    So if a person does’nt have any issues with AT&T and has better coverage in Their Geographical Area and wishes to carry over their T-Mobile plans and save hundreds of dollars for the two years AT&T will have to honor , what’s the problem ?
    That person would be stupid to jump ship to Verizon and pay twice the amount monthly for the same service. And Verizon’s grass is not greener on the other side either. I have family members on them as well and yes , they get dropped calls too. Not to mention their 3G is not any faster than AT&T’s.

    • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

      You can have savings for about 2 years, before ATT finds a way you “upgrade” your plan.
      Then there is no difference from Verizon prices.
      Yes, things changes fast in mobile market, but price will just keep going up and nobody can stop ATT if there’s less carriers to choose from.
      So where are you and the others gonna go after 2 years?

      Let’s see this from another point, what if in 2 years, T-mo can get good coverage in your area? And you wish them gone. (As you put it, mobile market moves fast)
      Nobody will really know what will happen in 2 years, but the bottom line is “More choice/carriers = Better for customers”.
      No matter what plans one has.

      In 2 years or less, you will be stuck with ATT/Verzion prices, happy times.

      FYI, I have good coverage with ATT in my area too, just the way they do business makes me never want to go back to them.

      Had ATT land line, dial up, DSL, Cell.
      Cut them all….free as a bird.

      • Mopar6464

        AT&T can only make you upgrade to their plans if You Modify or Change your Original T-Mobile rate plan.
        If i need a new phone before my 2 year plan AT&T assumes from the Buy-Out is up i’ll buy it Cash Off Contract myself so i won’t be forced into any AT&T plan until my T-Mobile plan expires. If AT&T tries to alter anything before it expires they will have to let me go without any ETF fee or strings attached. That’s the law , members of my family has already been through this type of thing on Verizon and AT&T before.
        Where will i go after that two year period , can’t answer that now because in 2 years this world could be totally different place with possibly other carriers coming into the national carrier business , who knows. I’ll make that decision when that time comes.
        But in 2 years i Won’t be stuck with AT&T/Verizon prices , there are always other choices and you don’t know either what the future holds until it gets here. If i’m not happy with them then , i’ll move on again to a company that will make me happy but i will save big bucks in the mean time.

    • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

      One more thing, I already tested Virgin mobile in my area, and it’s not bad.
      Good coverage all around, speeds avg. 900k/s ~ 1m/s.
      I know it’s not as fast as the big carriers.
      But for the price, can’t beat it. $25/month

      There’s my back up plan…LOL :D

      • Mopar6464

        I’m actually considering  prepaid service as a back up plan as well…LOL :D
        I guess my final decision will be made once all the rules are laid out to AT&T if and when the FCC approves everything.

  • Minnie Mouse

    Watch the movie “Limitless” & “Thor.”  That man and his family are real. Everybody is on an Inception team. The cover of the Blue-Ray clearly states “The Dream Is Real.” Who do you think came up with the T-Mobile Carly concept?? The world is trying to beat the one man who is trying to save us from ourselves.

    The wrath of God is coming! All of the poor people and the working class that has been stepped on will not have to tolerate the elites anymore. 

  • http://twitter.com/Reptarjr Jay

    I wonder what Apple and Google think. You know, the companies that actually matter. 

    • Anonymous

      the same thing that microsoft thinks… that it’s easier for them to have phones be on one combined network with better coverage.  All three have very close relationships with phone manufacturers and they also design the OS.  They’ll always be for anything that increases their profit margins (by reducing costs).

      None of these companies really care about consumer issues like price and customer service at AT&T/T-mobile.

  • Fray Contreras

    Now thats what im talking about! Lets get this merger to go through! Better network! Waaaaapaaaaaa!!!!!!

    • Brian55

      If you are a T-mobile customer you don’t want the merger unless you want to pay an average of 30% more per month on your bill.  And their network is honestly NOT much better.

      • Fray Contreras

        I was a T-Mobile customer… and they horrible. Believe me if their was was great, I still would be with them. By the way, my bill is $105 every month. That’s including taxes.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GR5KCWQPCWKRZQ2ERUMD62KP4U Tubajake

          wow thats a high bill, between my wife and i we pay 160 for two smartphones, with some of the greatest customer service i have ever had. now att is trying to save their dying company, if this goes through, I’m jumping boat to sprint….

        • Fray Contreras

          umm you have 2 lines… its always cheaper in family plan no duh… I payed the same about with T-Mobile. I have everything Unlimited. The same thing goes with T-Mobile it was around the same price.

        • Anonymous

          I pay 50$ for unlimited talk / text and 30$ for data.. tax is about 90+ i could have easily lowered the bill by removing unlimited texting . if you don’t want to pay that much ,get rid of the smart phone or services you don’t use. removing text can save 7-10$. before a smart phone text and talk unlimited was 60$ before tax. Companies dont tell you when they run a sale .  

        • http://twitter.com/droid1967 Droid 1967

          well since att doesnt have unlimited data not sure how you have unlimited everything.  in fact att is the worse when it comes to topping out data usage. i had att for 7 years just got worse and worse. than had verizon was always good.  and tmobile has great 4g here where i live. verizon,att and sprint have no 4g.
          and sprint is even worse coverage than att here.
          if you are grandfatherd in to unlimited data great but hope you like the phone you have cause it will change if you ever upgrade.
          customer support–there is no such thing anymore they are all a joke.  they dont care and att and tmobile are avctually rude.  at least verizon always says we love having you as a customer wouldnt matter if you pissed in their cereal they would say it :)

        • Fray Contreras

          I had att for almost 2 years and I still have my unlimited. So I kept it. Unless your a new customer then no unlimited for you. I had T-Mobile for a year in the past and they are horrible. It might be good in your area but they suck here when it comes to drop calls. Their internet is not all that great either. And there’s really no such thing as 4G. No one really has 4G anyways. They all 3G but using a new technology that takes you closer to 4G but its not 4G. If it really was 4G then we would be using a higher speed than what we using now. And theres also no such thing as unlimited data and the reason I say that is because if you really look at it, all wireless carriers has a cap to 5GB. So ask yourself, is that really unlimited internet? Cuz to me it isint.

    • Emmanuel Gonzalez

      I cant wait for this merger fusion buyout or whatever they call it is gonna make me happy

  • macman37

    It’s quite ironic and funny how AT&T with their 2nd rate customer service in Consumer Reports these last 7 years is finding support from other companies that are struggling as well.  Microsoft is basically in trouble if they can’t succeed in launching a successful tablet; they only have Microsoft Office that’s really holding them up.  They still were not able to copy all of Mac OS X Tiger’s features in Windows 7.  Yahoo is still struggling to stay afloat without being bought out; the departure of Microsoft’s representative Carl Ichan, I believe {don’t quote me on the exact person, it might be someone else} tells that story.  Research in Motion is still trying to regain ground after their failed attempt hoping that their Blackberry “Sure-click” technology in their Storm smartphone would take down the iPhone.  They should have launch the Blackberry Torch sooner!  Good luck to them as they try to recover their losses in both the smartphone and tablet arena by switching to the Unix-like “QNX OS”. These guys should save their faces and just go to a AT&T Hotspot like Starbucks and wake up with a strong espresso drink.  Stop the “domino effect” of the fool following a fool; and realize a few things: 1) AT&T is only after the use of the additional spectrum and bandwith – they already know that they will be lucky to retain more than half of T-Mobile’s current customer base.  They honestly don’t care! and 2) There more than likely won’t be any positive changes in AT&T’s customer service if this is approved – the acquisition of Cingular buying AT&T and the last 7 Consumer Reports review of Mobile Phone Carriers confirm this.

  • Okashi Remy

    This is so typical of of major corp, and WTF Facebook is getting involve in this. We all know microsoft OWN facebook so why would Fcc would listen to them. Likewise one thing i learn is that (us)the consumer need competition of Gsm technology, because who is going to stop at&t to do what ever they want with prices and regulations. Now i love the idea of fast 4g lte but Is BS I dont used my internet all the time and Im happy with the 3+ that I got from tmobile. If I want to download or watch live stream  I go to my house or to my optimun wifi which indeed is faster than verizon LTE and Im good to go.

    Now im thinking about, at&t is buying tmobile and is paying all this company to get their support. why they didnt put all that money to build their 4g lte?

  • Angarma1

    The merger would make AT&T in Puerto Rico a monopoly, they adquired another company called Centennial more than a yaear ago, and they’re struggling to merge that company still, imagine adquiring another one!!!   Local government opposes the merger at least in the Puerto Rico area. There’s no Verizon here to compete.

    • Emmanuel Gonzalez

      I live in Puerto Rico, ill tell you something TMOBILE SUCKS BADLY here, 4g only on 3 places and ive never seen more than 4Mb/s. The best thing that could happen to tmobile in Puerto Rico is ATT; by far the best carrier in puerto rico. Claro is cheap but still lacks good smartphone selection, sprint has signal issues when not on metropolitana areas, and tmobile has edge in 99% of the country. So ATT has best signal everywhere and 3g everywhere and 4g in almost everywhere.

      I WANT THIS MERGER NOW!!!!! 

      • Angarma1

        check your phone, there’s something wrong with it, At&t has the most drop calls all over the nation, including PR!!  Are you an At&T employee?

  • Wonder Woman

    I heard a rumor that Steve Ballmer is going to be fired for his poor leadership at Microsoft. I’m also hearing rumors that Mark Zuckerberg is going to have serious legal troubles for all the personal relationships that have been destroyed by Facebook and social networking. Zuckerberg is a jewish thief! Consider how many children have been exploited or destroyed because of Facebook. This world is upside down. The United States is not the leader of the free world. Human rights and civil liberties have gone by the wayside.

    T-Mobile has consistently been ranked 2nd behind the Big Evil Red Empire of Verizon in consumer reports for years. Verizon has secret deals to make them look good with every vendor you can think of.

    Perhaps it’s about time people start waking up to the fact that mind control probably wasn’t the best idea to end the world. Life has become a real world game of Survivor and the Amazing Race. The difference between the reality shows and real life is that people die. Read “The Mysterious Benedict Society” on Wikipedia followed by the “Inception” cover where it clearly states “The Dream Is Real.” The nightmare continues.

    If people choose not to acknowledge movies like “Eagle Eye” are real, you can continue sailing down the river of denial. 

    There is a reason Katherine Zeta Jones checked in to rehab for bipolar 2 disorder. To get something you have to give something in this world. The proposed merger meant somebody had to suffer in this cruel world. 

    The government needs to shut this deal down. People really need to start developing a healthy fear of god. I’m not talking about a religious god, simply god. This world was never intended on being this cruel. 

  • Wonder Woman

    I heard a rumor that Steve Ballmer is going to be fired for his poor leadership at Microsoft. I’m also hearing rumors that Mark Zuckerberg is going to have serious legal troubles for all the personal relationships that have been destroyed by Facebook and social networking. Zuckerberg is a jewish thief! Consider how many children have been exploited or destroyed because of Facebook. This world is upside down. The United States is not the leader of the free world. Human rights and civil liberties have gone by the wayside.

    T-Mobile has consistently been ranked 2nd behind the Big Evil Red Empire of Verizon in consumer reports for years. Verizon has secret deals to make them look good with every vendor you can think of.

    Perhaps it’s about time people start waking up to the fact that mind control probably wasn’t the best idea to end the world. Life has become a real world game of Survivor and the Amazing Race. The difference between the reality shows and real life is that people die. Read “The Mysterious Benedict Society” on Wikipedia followed by the “Inception” cover where it clearly states “The Dream Is Real.” The nightmare continues.

    If people choose not to acknowledge movies like “Eagle Eye” are real, you can continue sailing down the river of denial. 

    There is a reason Katherine Zeta Jones checked in to rehab for bipolar 2 disorder. To get something you have to give something in this world. The proposed merger meant somebody had to suffer in this cruel world. 

    The government needs to shut this deal down. People really need to start developing a healthy fear of god. I’m not talking about a religious god, simply god. This world was never intended on being this cruel. 

  • Brians Android

    at&t has the best coverage and the worst customer
    service, Probably due to their huge ego. They have hardline (pot, dsl, digital
    TV) and one of the largest cell phone company’s. It’s true that the proposed
    merger will benefit T-Mobiles coverage and speed. But in the long run is it
    fair for the consumer to have fewer choices of a GSM carrier with such benefits
    as voice and data ability to perform at the same time? Not to mention the fact
    that T-Mobile is very competitive with voice and data plans. I can only assume
    that T-Mobile is in a financial hardship or they fear the US economy is about
    to collapse (and it is for those of you in denial) and they want bail before
    the ship goes down. I for one have truly enjoyed being with T-Mobile. Many will
    say: The merger will give us access to the i-phone (a status symbol for most). With
    the introduction of the android OS we are only beginning to scratch the surface
    with great selection and leaps and bounds in new hardware abilities. “War Pigs
    by Ozzy Osborne”.

  • David

    I hope this deal happen and we finally get over this T-Mobile with crappy Android phones. I am sick of all these junk phones with crappy Android OS. AT&T offers much better phones and better OS for their phones.

    • tkt

      So in trying to figure out how what you’re trying to say that could actually make any sense…it must be that you think everything that is not the iPhone is crappy?