House Republicans side with AT&T and Verizon, calling for unrestricted spectrum auctions

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Image Credit: Popular Mechanics

The biggest spectrum auction of the past 10 years is due to take place in the next year, and as we’re all aware, both Sprint and T-Mobile have called for changes in the way airwaves are being auctioned off. As the current system stands, big chunks of spectrum are sold covering large geographical areas. T-Mo and Old Yeller have joined with other organizations to lobby that the FCC changes the restrictions to sell spectrum in smaller portions, covering smaller areas.

T-Mobile argues that it helps the smaller carriers be more competitive at auction. Stating that the current system makes it too easy for Verizon and AT&T to take the lion’s share of spectrum. Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC, has agreed and has motioned for changes to be made that make it hard for carriers/companies with large portions of specific bands to acquire too much more. The FCC’s proposed changes specifically reserve sections of spectrum in each market for wireless carriers who don’t already have large quantities of low-frequency spectrum.  A move which both VZW and the Death Star are unhappy with, and one which would benefit Sprint and T-Mobile greatly.

And they’re seemingly not the only ones. Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives’ technology panel have asked regulators to cancel their plans to restrict auctions. The news comes ten days prior to the date set for the FCC vote for next year’s major auction.

In a letter dated May 2nd, the House Republicans compare these restrictive measures to those of a cartel, stating that this “… is not how a market-based auction should function; it is how a cartel controls price.” They believe that the free market should decide the fate of the auctions.

We have 10 days until the fate of the major auction is decided, and there’s a lot of lobbying to do between now and then. And that’s not the only potential stumbling block. Television stations still need to voluntarily give up control of their low-frequency airwaves.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

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  • Paul Garrison

    Funny that party for the big is champion the big.

  • TBN27

    Not surprised. Their thinking is always like that. Sometimes or half the time free market does not benefit consumers.

  • Abe_The_Babe

    There is a limited amount of spectrum. If the biggest company buys all the spectrum and doesn’t use it, that’s bad for the free market and hurts the consumers (citizens of America). We don’t allow monopolies for this reason, this is one of the ways you can prevent a monopoly.

    • kalel33

      To be specific, this is a duopoly, not a monopoly.

  • Teto

    Why am I not surprised? Republicans are always nagging about everything..

    • nqk123

      apparently, this is pro-bussiness for republican.

    • Steve

      Obviously the nagging was not from Republicans. Nagging is usually the one who starts the complaining. It appears Republicans are just replying to the nagging, as I’m replying to yours.

  • ProudPapa

    Wait….. Did I just miss my turn and end up at MSNBC?

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Yeah… tread carefully, OP.

  • shadlom

    No surprise there.

  • Chewy1954

    I totally disagree with AT&T and Verizon. These two companies can literally out bid the smaller competitors the result being that the winner could be hoarding spectrum and
    creating a monopoly. In this instance the FCC is correct in changing the bidding rules. While on the subject of monopoly, the merger of Comcast and Timer Warner should not take place since it will be to the detriment of the consumers since there will only be two choices: Comcast and AT&T to choose from.

    • Radnoff

      Agree with you on the spectrum since T-Mobile competes with the larger AT&T and Verizon. Disagree with you on Comcast and Time Warner. They don’t compete with each other today. Most cable companies don’t overbuild other cable companies areas. There will be no less competition of cable companies with each other after Comcast and Time Warner merger. You may have Time Warner and AT&T to choose from today. Tomorrow you will have Comcast and AT&T. See? Still just two? The only difference is the name on Time Warner changed to Comcast.

      So apples and oranges comparison.

      • Jason Tuttle

        Actually when Comcast went before Congress in 2010 when they were buying NBCUniversal, they very publicly stated that there was no monopoly risk because Comcast still had Time Warner as a competitor. Comcast argued that because they had to compete with Time Warner on price, they couldn’t set their prices so high that they would be harmful to the consumer. Comcast is being entirely disingenuous in now arguing that Time Warner isn’t a competitor. The issue isn’t just the number of cable companies there will be, it’s the number of content distributors, and that is where a combined Comcast/Time Warner will very much be a monopoly threat.

        • Radnoff

          Wrong. Apples and oranges comparison again.

          Time Warner, Inc (the content distributor) and Time Warner Cable are two separate companies. Comcast’s NBC Universal will still compete with Time Warner, Inc (Warner Bros, etc) after a merger with Time Warner Cable because, again, they’re separate companies.

        • Jason Tuttle

          Wow, you must be the most naive person on the entire internet. Congratulations.

        • Radnoff

          You’re adept at changing the topic but not adept at addressing the facts on Time Warner Cable, Time Warner, Inc, and Comcast. Facts that are easily searchable on the internet by both naive and sophisticated people. Surely you fit somewhere in that range.

        • Jason Tuttle

          Ok, it’s clear that you’ve never worked in any sort of corporate environment, so I’ll try to explain how this sort of thing works. The short form is that your ‘fact’ that Time Warner Cable and Time Warner, Inc. are separate companies has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not they will compete after a merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast. When a giant conglomerate such as Time Warner decides to spin off a unit (such as Time Warner Cable), they make preparations that involve a multitude of legal agreements. After all, they generally aren’t just kicking out an unwanted stepchild – they have calculated that with the unit separate, they will be able to make even more money. So in the process of spinning off Time Warner Cable, they created a bunch of agreements guaranteeing that Time Warner Cable will retain access to content provided by the parent Time Warner for some specified amounts, generally below market value, and often for a very long time (and often the spun off company is required to purchase services from the parent company). This gives the spin off company certain advantages in the marketplace based on the parent company’s leverage of assets. Again, this is just a way to make even more money off the same ‘product’. Instead of just one income stream, now they have two income streams. Now, if/when Time Warner Cable merges with Comcast, the new company will retain anything currently owned by both Comcast and Time Warner Cable, including any such agreements with the parent Time Warner, except now the beneficiary of those agreements is the Time Warner Cable/Comcast entity. The merged company will have access to all of Comcast’s current catalog, AND all of Time Warner Cable’s current catalog, INCLUDING what Time Warner Cable has access to from Time Warner, Inc. The idea that the child company would ever compete with the parent company in any meaningful way displays an incredible lack of knowledge about corporate structuring. The Time Warner Cable/Comcast merger isn’t designed to increase competition in the marketplace, it’s designed to reduce competition in the marketplace and thus increase profits.

        • Radnoff

          Thank you for your response even if it started off a bit condescending. I don’t recall responding to a non-informative comment from someone and then getting a very informative and detailed response like yours. I appreciate it. Your previous comments did not allude to this specific info at all.

          I do work in a corporate environment in one of those 3 companies. I know the high-level that I outlined above. I also am not in any sort of decision-making capacity at all on this merger and am “am thousands of steps” removed from that. I visit a TMo fansite and get a discount through my employer.

          We may both be right. What you’re saying about the legacy agreements seems likely. The difference may be in what we see as “meaningful” competition. I do see competition between the NBCUniversal division and Time Warner Inc. (between their respective networks, studios, etc.). That will continue and exists thanks to the NBCUniversal purchase. I think this merger is a merger of adaption to a new media reality somewhat like Christopher Olson’s comment above. I don’t see a reduction in a competitor if Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge in the way I clearly see if T-Mobile and Sprint merge. And now we’re back to the subject of this site…

      • Christopher Olson

        I agree with you on the cable company front, the only way they have a chance of staying competitive is by merging considering all the digital options that are taking their market share and tearing down the cable monopoly that ruled the 90’s. No one has to fear about the cable companies grouping together as a monopoly, it’s more of their last ditch effort to stay strong with old technology.

    • archerian

      in most markets cable TV is already a monopoly – there is only one cable provider to choose from. Prices are already fixed. If there could be more providers in each community, it would offer better choice.. the best option is internet streamed pay per channel, but then the companies couldn’t charge for the 85 channels you don’t watch in the 100 channel package

      • Adrayven

        Yes, but it gives Comcast much more ability to slam those like Netflix and severely restrict the flow of content other than their own.. Soon, startup style networks and digital broadcasters will find themselves facing an impossible network to scale.. Comcast..

        • kalel33

          Yeah, the government already shut down Net Neutrality to help the big businesses, so I don’t see how they can’t tell the FCC again how they need to proceed.

  • nqk123

    free market only work when there are plenty of competitions. those who said let the market decide when competition are not there are idiots. there are quite a few industry that I would called a monopoly or oligopoly in this country

  • TechAce01

    Huh? Normally I agree with Free markets ideas, But how is this a free market if the government is directly involved? Maybe these Republicans should go back and study Economics.

    To be honest, this sounds more like a hit piece (due to the title of the article) instead of Lobbyist buying politicians which is most likely what happened. (Another reason why I believe the government has grown too big. They can’t buy power if the politicians didn’t have so much of it, but no point in auguring politics on a tech site.)

  • princedannyb

    Well, I hope the Democrats take our side then, otherwise…. I think we all know rest of the story….

  • princedannyb

    Someone, please start a petition!

  • Deadeye37

    I think the republicans would also be for a Sprint-Tmo merger. If they aren’t, then this would definitely be some hypocrisy on their part.

    I’m sorry to say, but if the government isn’t going to allow T-mobile buy more spectrum because Verizon & AT&T buy up almost everything and we can’t combine with Sprint (last resort), then really the government is allowing this to be a duopoly with Sprint & T-mobile fighting for the sloppy seconds. Sure T-mobile is doing awesome right now, but without good low-band spectrum, Tmo’s steam is going to run out quick while the big 2 roll out bigger/better networks for less money on those low bands.

    • KingCobra

      I agree. If Tmobile isn’t able to get a nice chunk of nationwide 600mhz it’s a wrap for them.

  • alexbr91

    was anyone surprised?

  • Eric

    Those republicans really want perfect AT&T/Verizon LTE coverage everywhere with low data caps and high prices. Oh, and 40+40 MHz (more?) LTE everywhere to blow those caps even faster and then be charged even more. Good choice, republicans! :-)

    • KingCobra

      Yeah they’re getting so much money from kickbacks that $300/mo phone bills with 5GB data caps don’t even bother them.

  • Not a surprise that the GOP would betray the American people to protect their cronies at Verizon and AT&T. They need to be removed from office. Every last one of them.

    • TechAce01

      And who would we replace them with? The Democrats are even worse! I’d like to see more independent people get elected and a end to this two party scam, but as long at the government stay big and massive, We the people are going to be screwed one way or another…

      • I am a Green. Voted for Jill Stein in 2012.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Oh please. You have a short memory. Some of us just believe in a free market – you don’t seem to remember the fact that T-Mobile was CONSTANTLY harangued by Democrats because of their labor practices. Give me a break.

      • You seem to forget that I mentioned that I am a Green. Voted mostly third-party in the 2012 election because they were the only viable candidates on my ballot in SC.

        • danielhep

          You actually never mentioned that.

        • Guest

          With all due respect, Jill Stein is a joke.

          Keep voting Green, please.

  • Jared

    THANK YOU LOBBYIST! Buying the government. I wonder how much it took this time to bribe these people. ATT&T and Verizon just look at this as part of normal operating cost. Tom Wheeler better stand his ground.

  • chris

    lobbying = legal bribery lol

  • Alex Zapata

    Yay democracy!

  • Durandal_1707

    Of course they do. Sigh.

  • southaven1981

    And this is surprising how. Republicans are always sided with those who have big pockets. Never siding with those who need more or need a chance those with smaller ban accounts.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      You’re right. Because emancipating slaves yielded extreme financial benefits for the GOP during the Lincoln era. It’s not like southern Democrats attempted to quell the growing momentum of the Civil Rights movement either to satisfy their racist, rich coffers, either – no, it was the evil Republicans who are the source of all evil!

      Keep drinking that Kool-Aid.

      • sorandkairi

        You do realize that those Republicans and current day Republicans are the exact opposites of one another right now right.

        The old southern Democrats are now called Republicans (after a few other name changes). You’ve commented soooo much but dont really have aclue do you? Read one history book. Current-day Republicians would’ve been Democratics back in the 1800s.

        Hell, I’m just glad that you used the right “you’re”.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          That’s historical fallacy. Lincoln’s liberal interpretation of the Constitution was merited by the circumstances of the Civil War… don’t blur the issues here.

          The Democratic party assimilated the positions that I mentioned earlier, and while they have changed over time they did not switch parties or something – their ideologies fluctuated, but this was not because of something as simple as a name change. Ideological assimilation is as much a cultural process as it is political. The best method of determining political prudence is to judge the actions of an ideology within the context of the time, and if we were in 1861 the REPUBLICANS would be in the right, not the Democrats. Nice try, though. Don’t try to tell me that Republicans should get no credit for their better moments in history – what you’re really saying is, even though at the time Democrats were OPPOSED to societal progress, they still deserve all of the credit for it. What errant nonsense!

          The Republican position has changed, as have the Democrats (note: not “Democratics”), but this is not because of an abandonment of an ideology – rather, it is the “progress” that modern-day progressives claim to cherish but all too often, shamelessly squander for the sake of buying votes.

          I am quite well-read, thank you. Before you criticize my education, I suggest that you get one.

  • gperez

    Understand the US government is not longer for the people and by the people it should re-write for the Big Corp and by the Big Corp and it doesn’t matter if Republican or Democrat, They are the same with different name.

    • KenCon

      Corporations are the people now.

      • Jason Crumbley

        The Citizens United ruling proves that.

  • vinnyjr

    Yep, now go check those same Republicans bank accounts, quickly grew and maybe a new beach house. What a joke. So predictable and pathetic.

  • superg05

    we keep inching towards synchronization with the continuum universe

  • Reminds me of that old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, lobby harder until you get your way.” Errr something like that.

    • Jason Crumbley

      You mean pay more money until you get your way. After all, the more money you have, the more free speech you have, according to the conservative justices on the Supreme Court.

  • jdubb

    Boooooooooooooo! To ALL of you cheaply bought representatives. That’s classic America, government doesn’t give two shits about the bottom line big picture.

    How does it feel to be a sellout? Washington has a bunch of them, it’s too bad they are so far detached from reality that they agree with that sort of position about a fair and square auction. I say if Verizon and AT&T don’t like the FCC’s position then by damn don’t participate. See how many of us give a f**k. You snooze, you lose, don’t penalize those companies that rely on these auctions.

    • dm33

      Supreme court says money is speech and 1st amendment says you can’t restrict free speech, I mean money, I mean political campaign contributions.
      So, money has spoken.

  • And this is why we can’t have nice things.

  • trife

    $$$$ in the bank >>>>> letting businesses fail/succeed on their own, even when that’s been your mantra for eternity.

    ‘Murica.

  • Jason Crumbley

    This Republican response is equivalent of a wolf calling the sheep a wolf.

  • Nick

    As big of a conservative as I am… They’re being morons. In order to level the playing field, they do have to favor towards the spectrum of the underdog.

    • kalel33

      If you’re a true conservative then you would allow the free market to choose who is successful, without government interference.

      • Right. When the FCC is basically selling their spectrum, they should be allowed to sell it in any way that they please, regardless of whether the House Republicans agree with it or not. That would be the equivalent of non-government interference in market dynamics in this case.

        • kalel33

          The FCC is a branch of the government that is overseen by congress, which means congress has veto power.

        • Now you’re just equivocating and creating a red herring. My use of the verb “should” clearly indicates that I am using deontic language, arguing what ought to be done in this case in order to be consistent with a truly economically conservative ideology. You’ve instead slipped from the subjunctive (“if”) in your first post to the indicative (“is”) mood in this most recent post while simultaneously managing to talk past me.

          Yes, it is true, the FCC is an independent, regulatory body who is supposed to be responsible to Congress. There’s little room for disagreement in a statement of fact. However, that fact, in and of itself, doesn’t entail that the decision that the Republicans are making in this case is consistent with an economically conservative ideology, which is the point of contention. To tell the FCC, “You can’t auction spectrum that way; you have to auction it this way,” is an example par excellence of government intervention in the marketplace.

          If you’re a conservative, when non-intervention is not an option or presents itself as an economically detrimental option, then your chief goal ought to be to ensure that the marketplace remains competitive, which, in the capitalist framework, is presumably the engine for innovation and employment opportunities and is of benefit to consumers. I fail to see how protecting the interests of AT&T and Verizon upholds any of those traditional, capitalist values.

          Analyze the current state of the economy all that you like, but one analysis that seems to be getting lost in the shuffle is the fact that the marketplace is becoming increasingly non-competitive as fewer companies control market segments. Capital is (predictably under such conditions) concentrating in fewer and fewer hands. In such a scenario, it is no surprise that the middle class is vanishing and that there is an enormous income gap. This tendency for capital to concentrate in fewer hands while being inversely proportionate to the conditions needed for competition is precisely why Marx claimed that the seeds of capitalism’s destruction are already planted within itself.

          Before anyone gets into a tizzy over invoking the name of “Marx,” however, please note that this doesn’t necessarily entail that “communism is good;” it just means that if you like capitalism, you have to protect it. It can’t be left to it’s own design, but this also means that intervention needs to happen in the right way, that is, always with an eye to creating, ensuring, and protecting competition.

        • Maximus

          Hey, debate nerd….if we wanted your whole life story we would have asked for it.

        • You can do better than that. That wasn’t even remotely relevant to anything specific within my post.

        • Mirad77

          Yes proffersor!

        • Mirad77

          Yes proffersor!

        • Michael Constantine

          By your argument, let’s completely get rid of monopoly laws. See how nicely businesses treat their consumers then.

        • How would that reasonably follow from anything I said?

        • dm33

          We can already see how well it works without monopoly laws. Look at Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon and AT&T. Each has carved out their own monopoly space, and the Verizon/AT&T duopoly.

      • KingCobra

        Yeah no more anti-trust or monopoly laws either. The free market will set everything right for us.

      • KingCobra

        Yeah no more anti-trust or monopoly laws either. The free market will set everything right for us.

      • Mirad77

        Even the free market needs rules to run by. Guess you were hibernating during the housing bubble. You are so blind

      • Mirad77

        Even the free market needs rules to run by. Guess you were hibernating during the housing bubble. You are so blind

      • Maximus

        It’s not a true competition if only one or two companies have the capacity to develop their services. Give everyone the same spectrum and then compete on whats important: phones, plans, price, and service.

      • spritemoney

        I have studied economics, history (not officially in college, but read many many many books, thus I know A LOT about history, probably more than a history major) and computer science. That being said, you must have government interference to keep the free marketing going, or else you will just end up with many molopolies, duopolies, or oligpolies. What we have RIGHT now in the telecommunication industry is NOT free market based at all. If we let it up to the “current free market” of the carriers, the big guys (Verizon and AT&T) will buy up most of the spectrum. It’s not fair how Verizon and AT&T earned their money because they are both descents of MA BELL (the original AT&T), which was a government approved monopoly (*HINT* this is where Government interference is BAD). In 1984 the government finally “broke” the AT&T monopoly, but then they ended up becoming REGIONAL monopolies. Not going too much into the history of Ma Bell, and the aftermath of Ma Bell, Verizon, and the current AT&T are direct descents of Ma Bell, which is why they have the most money. They were both (and still are to an extent) a monopoly approved by OUR GOVERNMENT. This is why I believe the government should interfere and allow the smaller carriers to gain more spectrum because it will improve competition in this broken industry. Government should always do what is best to the consumer, and to the free market. It wouldn’t completely “right this wrong,” but it would definitely improve competition in an industry where very little competition truly exists.

  • JJCommonSense

    Republicans on the House of Representatives technology panel? TRAGEDY! No wonder our technological infrastructure is far falling behind.

    • Stone Cold

      Infrastructure period.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      How right you are! No way it could have anything to do with the 17 trillion dollar deficit that Obama has presided over…

      • JJCommonSense

        It probably has more to so with that 13 trillion dollar deficit that he inherited. It takes money (investment) to make money. T-mobile is an example of that.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          The first thing a business needs when it’s in the red is fiscal sanity. If you can’t meet your obligations, you must scale down your spending BEFORE you gain enough capital for investment. That’s exactly what T-Mobile did – they didn’t borrow millions to build an LTE network, they waited until they had amassed enough capital to do so on their own.

          Your statement is extremely selective and misleading. Anyone with a fundamental understanding of business knows that.

        • JJCommonSense

          I agree with the fiscal sanity part… in my opinion the amount of corporate welfare that we dole out in this country is absolutely insane. Especially when we are under-funding things like our education system and infrastructure. That might explain why The literacy rates in red states tend to be lower.. but hey they pay low taxes, right?
          Good thing the USA isnt a business

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          Seems like we agree on most things, then. I agree that a LOT of things, like education and infrastructure, are underfunded… but unions in both areas make change/improvement either too costly or unfeasible, and they are a large part of the problem, too. (This explains Wisconsin’s recent revival, too.)

          Also, as far as literacy rates go… there are social factors at work that determine academic achievement. In Massachusetts, a blue state, education was highest when Romney was in office… that’s not always the trend.

          And I wish we were run more like a business. :-) Nothing wrong with some good, old-fashioned customer service! While it would be unsustainable, think of how much better dealing with stagnant government entities would be… I wish I could get some T-Mobile-style customer service at the USPS – but that’s not going to happen! ;-)

        • JJCommonSense

          Romney (w/ the help of his Democratic legislature…) also made great strides in healthcare in MA also! See what great things can happen when people work together towards a common good?
          (Sidenote: love how we were able to have a CIVIL political debate in the comments section.. lol.. maybe its the TMO glow lol).

  • Half Crazy

    Washington DC uses Verizon services & ATT is who the NSA spies through since way back in the DAY! Politicians lose their moral compass soon as they get their first Paycheck!!!

  • Justin Merithew

    Are there any petitions going on to counter this, or a resource to get emails and other ways of contacting representatives? I’m not going to sit around and let AT&T & Verizon manipulate the market. This explains why AT&T changed their tune about participating in the auction!

  • Jay Edge

    The ONLY petition consumers who DO NOT like this decision, should be writing, personally, is**** SWITCH TO T-MOBILE **** I have not heard one logical person mentions this. All yall are cronies, frauds and just talking the talk!. If you support what T-Mobile is doing, bite the bullet and let them payout ETF to support their change @ getting that low band spectrum. This is the ONLY way to show the 2 BIG dogs. BUT I BET YOU NOT ONE OF YOU WILL!

    • TechAce01

      Not everyone can switch to T-mobile. I have some friends who HATE Verizon, but that’s their only mobile carrier.

  • Paul

    Aaahhh, lobbying at its finest.
    The 2 biggest carriers are upset that the competition might actually get a leg up, so they lobby and pay off government officials.

  • Paul

    Aaahhh, lobbying at its finest.
    The 2 biggest carriers are upset that the competition might actually get a leg up, so they lobby and pay off government officials.

  • KingCobra

    Funny that they equate the rules to a cartel when allowing AT&T and Verizon to buy up all the spectrum would just continue to allow them to collude like a cartel with their duopoly over the market.

  • KingCobra

    Funny that they equate the rules to a cartel when allowing AT&T and Verizon to buy up all the spectrum would just continue to allow them to collude like a cartel with their duopoly over the market.

  • Mirad77

    Nothing new here since everything the big business guys say is what they tend to say too.
    When they say jump republican ask how high.

  • Paul Garrison

    There is no such thing as a true conservative ideology in DC nor even on the state or local level on government. This so called conservative principals only apply when a particular interest are in line with the conservative philosophy. At&t and Verizon have bought their way to the top, and they will use that money to pay to stay on top by buying those conservative or liberal principals.

  • Paul Garrison

    There is no such thing as a true conservative ideology in DC nor even on the state or local level on government. This so called conservative principals only apply when a particular interest are in line with the conservative philosophy. At&t and Verizon have bought their way to the top, and they will use that money to pay to stay on top by buying those conservative or liberal principals.

  • yeah right

    Yet another reason I grow further and further away from the republican party.

  • yeah right

    Yet another reason I grow further and further away from the republican party.

  • dm33

    Wow, just wow.

  • dm33

    Wow, just wow.

  • Maximus

    I would like to see the bank transactions between VZW/ATT and House Republicans. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the House Republicans recently got their pockets lined.

  • Maximus

    I would like to see the bank transactions between VZW/ATT and House Republicans. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the House Republicans recently got their pockets lined.

  • Stone Cold

    Gee this is a shock. NOT!!!!!!! House Republicans how much money was thrown your way for this attempt to sway the FCC’s decision?

  • Stone Cold

    Gee this is a shock. NOT!!!!!!! House Republicans how much money was thrown your way for this attempt to sway the FCC’s decision?

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Stone, Republicans are for a free market, period. Sometimes (like now), this conflicts with other worthy causes, like T-Mobile, and you’re free to agree or disagree – but in principle, it’s easy to see why they would respond in the way they did. They want a hands-off government approach to the markets, period.

      On the other hand, it was the Democrats who get millions from the CWA and other labor unions (campaign finance records, available at the FEC, back this up) to harangue T-Mobile about their employee relations, but the world turns a blind eye to that. There is a notable double standard here.

      • Stone Cold

        Both sides are corrupted by special interest money.

  • Maximus

    The reality for VZW and ATT is that the only advantage they really have over the smaller carriers is coverage and network quality. They will stop at nothing to ensure that they keep that advantage. They know that they cannot compete on products, plans, or price. If TMO and Sprint were able to develop comparable networks, one of two things would happen. VZW and ATT would have to drastically reduce their prices and try to keep customers or just lose a large portion of their customers. Either way, they are in trouble. Every move from VZW and ATT is defensive at this point. They are clinging to their duopoly and control of the market by their nails. It’s only a matter of time though. They may still be able to wield some influence with auctions, but TMO will eventually get the spectrum they need. And then it’s bye bye duopoly.

    • GDAE

      “…the only advantage they really have over the smaller carriers is coverage and network quality.”
      Which is kinda like saying that the only advantage the NFL has over high school football is athleticism and equipment.

      • Maximus

        That is a very poor comparison. NFL football players and HS football players do not play in the same league whereas the carriers are in the same market. A more accurate comparison would be two NFL teams that get 100 draft picks and one NFL team that is allowed only 20.

  • pnaggy

    a cartel? really? what brainchild decided this is the word to use to scare them…The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 outlawed all contracts, combinations and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain interstate and foreign trade. This includes cartel violations, such as price fixing, bid rigging, and customer allocation. Sherman Act violations involving agreements between competitors are usually punishable as federal crimes. sounds like the deathstar and VZW to me!!!

    • Paul Garrison

      “Look, who has the money makes the rules!” replies At&t.

    • Paul Garrison

      “Look, who has the money makes the rules!” replies At&t.

  • Fr0stTr0n

    No different then all you liberals blaming Bush for everything.

    • sorandkairi

      Okay.. so what did Bush do well exactly!?

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        If you were “well-read,” your complaint about me that you mentioned earlier, you would have known that by 2006, only one industrialized economy simultaneously grew its GDP while reducing its absolute level of greenhouse gas emissions: the United States, and its entirely due to the Bush Administration.

        After rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, President Bush appropriated $22 billion to “climate change technology, research, and deployment,” which is actually more than any president in history (yes, including Obama) and more than the rest of the world combined.

        Bam.

  • Tmo1082

    I think it’s funny that its OK for the Republicans to draw up their congressional district lines that suits them best when they are the smaller guy so they can get re-elected. Then turn right around and accuse the smaller wireless carriers of being like the cartel when they want a level playing field.

    • Stone Cold

      Both sides do that.

  • Tmo1082

    I think it’s funny that its OK for the Republicans to draw up their congressional district lines that suits them best when they are the smaller guy so they can get re-elected. Then turn right around and accuse the smaller wireless carriers of being like the cartel when they want a level playing field.

  • mingkee

    These house GOP have to be destroyed.

  • dkbnyc

    Ah, those GOPers are at it again. Sticking it to the little guy in favor of the big guy. You want competition then allow the little guys the room to acquire what they need to compete. AT&T & VZW both have more than enough spectrum. A good portion never even in use. For once will you GOP tricksters do the right thing for the people and not the corporations… Wait, I forget. You guys think that corporations are people.

  • dkbnyc

    Ah, those GOPers are at it again. Sticking it to the little guy in favor of the big guy. You want competition then allow the little guys the room to acquire what they need to compete. AT&T & VZW both have more than enough spectrum. A good portion never even in use. For once will you GOP tricksters do the right thing for the people and not the corporations… Wait, I forget. You guys think that corporations are people.

    • GinaDee

      Problem is: Neither Softbank or DT are “little guys.” Both Sprint and T-Mobile USA have foreign owners who own most of each respective company. People cheering for the rise of one company and the demise of a US company forget this.

      DT and Softbank “can afford,” to invest massive amounts of capital into these US spectrum auctions. They don’t want to and would rather the US government make it easy on them and harder on the larger 100% US companies like VZ or AT&T.

      I’ve said it before: T-Mobile US needs to get their hands on more low band spectrum. That doesn’t mean other companies should be put at some form of disadvantage in the process; particularly US based companies like AT&T or VZ who invest more into our US economy than most others.

      I don’t have a problem with a small reserve of spectrum for T-Mobile. I do have an issue with the verbiage in the legislation that forces big companies to have to buy spectrum in small 5 x 5 slices. That’s insane and unnecessary.

      Any company who purchases new airwaves should be forced for a 100 % build out within 18 months and should keep the handsets they sell “unlocked.” This is where consumers would really win.

    • GinaDee

      Problem is: Neither Softbank or DT are “little guys.” Both Sprint and T-Mobile USA have foreign owners who own most of each respective company. People cheering for the rise of one company and the demise of a US company forget this.

      DT and Softbank “can afford,” to invest massive amounts of capital into these US spectrum auctions. They don’t want to and would rather the US government make it easy on them and harder on the larger 100% US companies like VZ or AT&T.

      I’ve said it before: T-Mobile US needs to get their hands on more low band spectrum. That doesn’t mean other companies should be put at some form of disadvantage in the process; particularly US based companies like AT&T or VZ who invest more into our US economy than most others.

      I don’t have a problem with a small reserve of spectrum for T-Mobile. I do have an issue with the verbiage in the legislation that forces big companies to have to buy spectrum in small 5 x 5 slices. That’s insane and unnecessary.

      Any company who purchases new airwaves should be forced for a 100 % build out within 18 months and should keep the handsets they sell “unlocked.” This is where consumers would really win.

  • TylerCameron

    I actually think spectrum should be auctioned off as a giant national blanket…

  • TylerCameron

    I actually think spectrum should be auctioned off as a giant national blanket…

  • Paul Garrison

    Republican hates big government publicly, but loves big business. Go figure, such hypocrisy.

  • T-Sprint

    This is just another signal that T-Mobile will get absorbed by Softbank. If they can’t change the spectrum buying policy they need each other to survive. Spectrum stands for control in the telecom industry.

    • dkbnyc

      Sprint going the way of the Dinos is more likely.

  • T-Sprint

    This is just another signal that T-Mobile will get absorbed by Softbank. If they can’t change the spectrum buying policy they need each other to survive. Spectrum stands for control in the telecom industry.

  • $15454173

    Coming here to read this and then up pops a Sprint ad and a big AT&T ad. The Sprint ad is sitting right over and I am typing “under” it. Okay, reloaded 3 times and its gone. It wasn’t House Republicans that put the ads of the competition in your face :) “Switch to Sprint” anyone?

  • vinnyjr

    House Republicans are the biggest thieves walking the streets of Washington. They have their hands in everyone’s pocket. Sprint is a piss poor slow as hell CDMA Network that is old as hell, T-Mobile is a fast as lightening GSM Network with the fastest HSPA+ Network and the most up to date LTE Hardware in the world being currently installed. They don’t sync at all. Sprint will drag any Network down. T-Mobile must stay the hell away from Sprint at any cost.

    • josephsinger

      Darryl Issa a San Diego politician wanted Iraq to have a CDMA network only because his constituents at Qualcomm were peddling CDMA hardware. Shocked. I tells ya I’m shocked!

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Republicans are not necessarily for a Sprint-T-Mo merger, Vinny. You spread a lot of anti-Republican hate, but have very little factual basis to back anything up.

      House Repubs are NOT the issue. Try looking at the political contributions of Verizon, for example – the CDMA-only culture that you object to is the result of Democratic influence peddling. VZ is a big Dem. contributor. So is Sprint.

  • notyourbusiness

    House Republicans siding with the two major wireless carriers in the US who support them and give money to right wing propaganda? No way!

    Seriously, this is not the least bit shocking. Evil is as evil does and evil sure does stick together.

  • josephsinger

    House Republicans siding with telcos! Shocked I tells ya I’m shocked. Bidne$$ is mo’ important than citizens’ needs silly people. Really now you expected something different?

  • Dusty

    If you let the “free market” control the auctions, you are denying a “free market” when it comes to consumer choice. Sometimes, when you have a limited commodity, if you adhere to market principles and consumerism, you have to deny as free a market as you would like at some point to preserve the free market overall.

  • lynyrd65

    And for the first time ever, I just might vote democrat……. Congratulations you corrupt asshats

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      In my view, this is not a major enough of an issue to influence my faith in conservative principles.

  • spritemoney

    I am a Libertarian leaning individual who highly believes in the free market. That being said, it is ironic how the house republicans calls the smaller carriers “cartels,” when ironically, the bigger carriers are acting as cartels themselves. Infact Verizon and AT&T are both descents of a MONOPOLY (that was allowed by our government) and thus they have the deepest pockets. WE DO NOT have a true free market when it comes to telecommunications in the United States. Our government (it DOES NOT matter what side you’re on, repub or dem) does not believe in a true free market, and they always side with money. They do what benefits THEMSELVES and the corporations. It’s so ironic how republicans consider themselves “free market” and they are apparently for “economic freedom” and less government in our lives when infact they are JUST AS WORSE as the democrats. I do believe the government should interfere and allow the underdogs to get more spectrum.

    My advice for everybody: Vote for the individual, not for the party. Both sides DO NOT care about your common American. Vote them all out.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Based on what you’ve just said, you are NOT a Libertarian-leaning individual. You would laud any decision that leaves the market completely untouched. Libertarians, for the record, object to government intervention in free markets even more than Republicans do.

      • spritemoney

        Again, the telecommunication industry is so unique. What we have in the U.S. regarding the telecommunication industry is the opposite of a free market.

      • spritemoney

        There are countries out there (I’m NOT looking at Europe) which have such a free market when it comes to the telecommunication industry. I’m not sure if you have traveled the world (I have!) and let me use Malaysia as an example. In Malaysia, you should see what the free market has produced in the terms of the telecommunication industry. They have a broad range of players, and effective competition, as a result the price has dropped and service has became better. In the United States we have an oligopoly when it comes to telecommunications services.

  • j

    its amazing to me how these politicians openly show that they are being influenced by business and people keep voting them in. the funny part is that their are a large number of “red blooded merican” republicans who rely on those “terrible socialist programs” to eat, but then vote in fat cats thinking they are patriotic. sad