FCC Says AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Not In The Best Interest Of The Public

Expanding on our earlier report concerning the FCC decision, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a draft order earlier this morning calling for an Administrative Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. According to the FCC, the Chairman’s order requires final approval from the full commission and if it receives the green light, the hearing will be conducted like a trial — involving witnesses, evidence, cross examination etc.

In his order this morning, Genachowski concluded that the AT&T, T-Mobile deal is not in the best interest of the public and believes that the deal violates antitrust laws and that the deal would lead to massive job losses. The FCC says the deal would lead to an unprecedented amount of power in the hands of a few companies and there is no evidence the benefits of the deal outweigh the harms it would bring.

Such a hearing would further delay the process especially considering the FCC would wait until the conclusion of the Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit against AT&T. That trial is expected to begin on February 13th and is now seen as the first of two major government hurdles AT&T must overcome.

The FCC pored over 2,000 pages of documents and held more than 100 meetings with all the interested parties, including the applicants and many opposition parties. The hearing itself would see a verdict delivered by a judge and the judge’s decision would then be considered by the FCC commissioners.

It’s noteworthy how strong the opposition is coming from the FCC especially given that in all but one market (Omaha, where T-Mobile doesn’t offer service), the FCC found that the merger would reduce competition in every market. Furthermore, the FCC rejected AT&T’s claims that the deal would lead to a faster 4G or larger rollout of 4G.

AT&T seemed less than thrilled by the decisions:

“The FCC’s action today is disappointing,” said Larry Solomon, SVP of corporate communications. “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both. At this time, we are reviewing all options.”

The last time such an event took place was the proposed merger of EchoStar and DirectTV which saw both companies pull out of the deal.

For now, the AT&T, T-Mobile merger looks less likely than ever.

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  • Dave Macias

    i still insist if Deutsche Telekom AG wants to get out of the US market then why not selling the company to an international carrier? you want investments in the country? then woudln’t an international carrier invest on what’s on t-mobile and make it work in our market? wouldn’t new jobs can be created if this X carrier decide to expand and compete with the other 3? woudln’t be fair to open the doors to foreign investment too? yes, i know T-Mobile is an European carrier but i prefer ten times another European carrier than go through AT&T , Verizon or Sprint heck even Metro PCS does not catch my attention. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWWIKW6MNPUHOC4OVSHWUDWAHM Fabio

      Of course they can sell the company to a foreign carrier. They were in talks with Vodafone and other companies. It just so happens AT&T was the highest bidder with their high break-up free, DT began to get dollar signs in their eyes and decided to go with AT&T. But as soon as this deal dies, if DT really wants out, then he’ll sell to the foreign carrier who bids the highest. The U.S gets what they want and DT gets what they want! Everyone is happy :).

      • Dave Macias

        I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen if they decide to sell to an international carrier these are my candidates:
        Vodafone
        Orange
        Docomo USA
        O2

        I really don’t see any other carrier like telenor,telia, 3 investing here, most likely Vodafone sells its Verizon share and buy T-Mobile USA.

  • Dave Macias

    i still insist if Deutsche Telekom AG wants to get out of the US market then why not selling the company to an international carrier? you want investments in the country? then woudln’t an international carrier invest on what’s on t-mobile and make it work in our market? wouldn’t new jobs can be created if this X carrier decide to expand and compete with the other 3? woudln’t be fair to open the doors to foreign investment too? yes, i know T-Mobile is an European carrier but i prefer ten times another European carrier than go through AT&T , Verizon or Sprint heck even Metro PCS does not catch my attention. 

  • Caligirl22

    Dam honestly I don’t want this to go tru as I been a loyal tmo customer for 3 years. But if it means better coverage then go for it. Over here in los angeles in the city t-mobile works great just as great as verizon and at&t. And t-mobile has wifi calling which is a plus for me. BUT once u go out of the city t-mobile coverage is almost gone its very uhmm how shall I put this crappy? Pgones which I had plenty from t-mobile keep on switching like crazy between gsm, edge,gprs 3G coverage is completly gones they can’t seem to keep a steady signal. Then comes the long period of times when the phone says “no service”. While at&t and verizon have full bars of 3G service and they work to call unlike t-mobile. I’m ready to switch but I don’t wanna go to verizon or at&t cuz they expensive. Its funny cuz I always read online about people talking soo bad about at&t and yet my gurlfrends all on at&t always have better coverage when we travel and better signal inside buildings only advantage I have is I can make wifi calling so I’m able to talk in all the buildings they get service on at&t. But when we take road trips they always get better coverage and since there’s no wifi there in the road I have to borrow there at&t phone to make calls which I hate.

  • Caligirl22

    Dam honestly I don’t want this to go tru as I been a loyal tmo customer for 3 years. But if it means better coverage then go for it. Over here in los angeles in the city t-mobile works great just as great as verizon and at&t. And t-mobile has wifi calling which is a plus for me. BUT once u go out of the city t-mobile coverage is almost gone its very uhmm how shall I put this crappy? Pgones which I had plenty from t-mobile keep on switching like crazy between gsm, edge,gprs 3G coverage is completly gones they can’t seem to keep a steady signal. Then comes the long period of times when the phone says “no service”. While at&t and verizon have full bars of 3G service and they work to call unlike t-mobile. I’m ready to switch but I don’t wanna go to verizon or at&t cuz they expensive. Its funny cuz I always read online about people talking soo bad about at&t and yet my gurlfrends all on at&t always have better coverage when we travel and better signal inside buildings only advantage I have is I can make wifi calling so I’m able to talk in all the buildings they get service on at&t. But when we take road trips they always get better coverage and since there’s no wifi there in the road I have to borrow there at&t phone to make calls which I hate.

  • T-mobileuser

    yeah thats why t-mobile cant get more customers because they cannot provide coverage i mean why would you go to a company where your phone is useless

    • Cityofnewyork3000

      You sound more like an At&t troll, go to their website and leave ours alone.

    • Respawn

      Oh you mean about as useless as all the comments of yours I’ve seen thus far?

      • Tbyrne

        LMFAO!!!

    • mitch

      I get coverage and my bill is a lot cheaper, and most of tmobile’s phones have wifi calling.  It’s hard for tmobile to sell service right now b/c of all the merger talks.  people don’t want to sign a 2 year contract when it might not be around for another 6 months

  • T-mobileuser

    anybody relise that radioshack no longer sells t-mobile thats because they probly couldnt get service to activate the phones it just just said searching for service would you like like to register on att? lol wow t-mobile is awsome

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Doing a search would help you! RadioShack switched from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless back in September, it actually had nothing to do with “troubles activating” phones.

      • T-mobileuser

        o okay i just looked at the article and it was because they couldnt sell t-mobile because noone was buying the t-mobile phones

      • T-mobileuser

        do you know if t-mobile will come out with a sidekick after the 4g version? i have the 4g but i want one that swivels out its my favorite phone

  • T-mobileuser

    has t-mobile ever heard of a cell phone tower its this thing that makes your phone

    • Respawn

      Have you ever heard of proper punctuation? It’s the thing that makes your sentence …

      • T-mobileuser

        yeah i have i made a error in my message have you ever done that?

  • http://twitter.com/IntegrityWebs Integrity Tech

    AT&T’s response does not surprise me. They have a history of anti-competitive behavior and their response is totally disingenuous. And to @Dpro… @Chosen8one8 has it right. I’ve been involved in the cell phone industry since 1985 – one year after AT&T was broken up into regional Bell operating companies. Most of you have no clue why an AT&T/T-Mo merger is NOT GOOD! The internet holds a small sliver of the real story. Of course, everything we read on the internet is true, right?

  • Anonymous

    I like  the low blow the end ” … at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both.” .. Yea, letting the merger go through will surely create more jobs, and reduce my phone bills… oh wait no it will do the exact opposite in both instances. Piss off ATT

  • Merlox0666

    If the merger does go through. We the T-Mobile customers will finally get the iPhone. We would also get the largest network in this country along with better service. 

    • mitch

      We would also get a huge RATE HIKE, don’t forget why you aren’t already with the company that has the iPhone

    • Chosen8one8

      @25c92b5e542e527e03f13a738a170ab7:disqus :  we wouldn’t get better service, we’d have to share service with the 100 million AT&T customers, which would drastically slow down data speeds.  theres a plus to being the smallest network…..less congestion.  

      and since the merger isn’t going through, it’s really up to at&t to make an iphone with bands that support the 1700/2100 aws bands that tmobile uses.  i personally would prefer for t-mobile to not get the iphone, because that would just cause so much more traffic on t-mobiles fast data network.  i have a 3g samsung vibrant and i average 3-6 mbps.  that’s pretty good for 3g.  

      • Chosen8one8

        I meant for Apple to build an iPhone with aws bands…not AT&T….lol

    • Bbryen

      You really can’t believe what you wrote, ATT is like a death star, they were broken up once and they are right back with the same crap, I have been a ATT customer worst experience ever. I think they should be broken up again.

  • Cyclone

    Bloomberg reports the merger has been block and ATT will take charge for it.

  • Judah Jamison

    Stop buying into the hype. T-Mobile customers will not get the iphone because of AT&T. Apple is not a service, just a manufcaturer, meaning that it will go to those who will buy. AT&T has long held the iphone as a marquee phone, but any company “in the business” of making money will sell to Verizon, T-Mobile, and whoever else is willing to pay.