FCC Accepts AT&T’s Request To Withdraw Their Application For T-Mobile Takeover, Will Release Findings Today

In a conference call that just finished, the FCC has announced it will grant AT&T’s request to withdraw its application to acquire T-Mobile. The FCC also announced that it will release its findings today discussing what it uncovered during the course of their review. Some portions of the report will be redacted, however the full report will be sent to the Department of Justice to assist them in their lawsuit against AT&T.

Among the findings by the FCC were the decision that:

  • Significant job losses would result
  • AT&T would upgrade HSPA+ to LTE even in the absence of the merger
  • Evidence doesn’t support AT&T’s claim they won’t go beyond 80% LTE coverage because of this merger, they will be forced to in order to compete with Verizon
  • Cost savings are unlikely to get passed on to consumers and may reduce service quality
  • AT&T overestimates the magnitude with which the two networks would be efficient
  • AT&T’s model claiming the merger would result in lower prices is flawed in several ways

Many thanks to PCMag editor @saschasegan for live Tweeting the call!

This story is developing…check back for more details after the report is released.

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  • Anonymous

    With the doj and fcc against this deal, how could att expect it to get approved? I guess its possible for att to win in court against the doj but how would they get past the fcc?

    • Trees2472002

      So do tmo get the spectrum and money

      • hatersontherocks

        well tmobile get the spectrum but the money go to dt

        • Anonymous

          I actually read somewhere that dt would get the spectrum also…..spectrum would be as good as cash to dt…..as they could sell it to someone else….not sure if thats true

  • Anonymous

    woot woot! I’m sure AT&T thought pulling out wouldn’t result in this lovely bundle of joy.. but it did! This will kill AT&T at the DoJ suit!!!!

    AT&T: Abstaining from trying to become another conglomerate would have prevented this whole mess.

    • Magmaspawn

      Pulling out only works 40% of the time 

  • Nick

    Glad to see that the FCC did the right thing for customers and the wireless industry.

    Also, by selling spectrum and customers to Leap or someone else, the 6 points above would still stand.

  • WE WIN!!!!!! Well at least this battle… YAY!

  • TMoFan

    This is the best thing that could happen. I lol’d – at&t thought they would avoid this by withdrawing from the FCC. Sharing this information will definitely bolster the DoJ case. The leaked documents proved that at&t can roll out their LTE without T-Mobile. I’m sure those leaked documents were the tip of the iceberg.

  • Anonymous

    When I walk out the tunnel and see the clear sky, then I will believe it’s all over. But glad to see FCC did something right for a change…

  • Youngt82

    So does this mean that the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is over???

    • Tbyrne

      More likely than ever!

    • I believe this is answered in the article.

      • Wikileaks

        guys, capitalism is all about $$$ you really think its over??? lol…
        i guess you still think in war for freedom.
        nuclear weapons in iraq
        “opens your minds for a different view,And nothing else matters”

  • Tbyrne

    Quiet everybody! Quiet! The fat lady’s about ready to sing!

  • Elder Mo

    Sorry AT&T but you have now proven to be full of crap. We all knew your were full of crap with the new jobs, higher quality services, etc., now the FCC Leaves no doubt. It’s sure going to be hard to have the DOJ believe anything you say as the truth as you try to defend yourself. Good luck AT&T- you may have the iPhone, but most people now know you also lack integrity and will stay away.

  • DNguyen

    DOJ is going to have a stronger case. I wonder what ATT will do now? waiting for them to reply

  • Nelson

    Waiting for AT&T to blab about filing a lawsuit…….

  • I was expecting the FCC to allow withdrawal WITH prejudice! Ugh that would have effectively killed the deal! But the DOJ does have a strong case, but now this charade will be prolonged until February!

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      There’s no legal basis for a “with prejudice” order.

      But this deal is totally dead Fabio. You can stop sleeping with one eye open. ;)

      • Kevinmarchibald

        Why not? All the listed “cons” seem uncorrectable, so why allow the possibility that AT&T can waste the FCC’s time with another application?

      • I guess we’ll just have to sit tight, and wait for the good news! “AT&T walks away from their planned T-Mobile acquisition”! Ah, that day is almost here. :)

  • Silk7412

    The only time i wil be in joy is after see “AT$T IS NO LONGER BUYING TMOBILE ” And when there lawyers go on vacation.

    Then and only then will i do my happy happy dance

    Also Thank you FeLix the cAt and your magic bag of tricks.

  • Anonymous


  • Chatter

    Folks, this does NOT mean that the deal is off. ATT is withdrawing the application to focus on the DOJ
    Lawsuit. This allows them to deal with “one issue at a time”. The deal can still happen, though it is getting harder for ATT.

    • Tbyrne

      What it DOES mean is we’re getting closer to be rid Randall. Bye bye Death Star!

      • Chatter


  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    HA HA HA HA HA HA…. piss off the FCC and it will send the results of its findings AND its opinion to U.S. prosecutors.

    That will teach AT&T to cop an attitude with regulators.

    The status of this deal reminds me of the time I dropped two just-barbecued steaks on the floor, that were on the way to the table (one for me, one for my GF). (I was trying to balance too much stuff on my arm, a waiter I’m not).

    Anyway, my two dogs being dogs (always on patrol for careless cooks making miSTEAKS) wolfed those steaks down faster than I could scream “NO!” (“No” in a sad way, not in “stop doing that.”).

    One of those steaks was named “AT&T” and the other “DT.” And for a brief moment my one dog was named FCC, the other DOJ.

    Later I saw AT&T and DT on the sidewalk; I won’t go into detail except to reveal that my pooches gave enlightened meaning to the old saying “pinching a loaf.”

    Bonus Comment: We ended up eating microwaved pizzas that night. Friggin dogs didn’t care.  What a drag.

    • Ash

      I’ll take your floored steaks over ATT any days!!
      (after wash and re-grill a bit, I’m not an animal!!)

    • Usafail

      and…bla bla bla !!! im goin to bed.

  • I think AT&T is taking their “Rethink Possible” slogan to the extreme. At this point, AT&T, “Think Reality” and just give it up.

  • todrules

    It’s been released. Here’s a link to the PDF: http://transition.fcc.gov/transaction/ATT-TMO-redacted-PDF-final.pdf

  • 123

    YES!!! I am so glad the FCC drew those conclusions. My faith in the American government waxes each time they stick a knife in ATT’s back. 

  • Svetzy02


  • Ash

    FCC should add another point: Never allow ATT to try this shit again!

    • Tbyrne


  • BigMixxx

    oh man it’s UGGEULEEE…

    So the FCC uses terms directly in reference to AT&T, terms were used like flawed, overstated, overestimated, magnitude, unlikely, significant…loss, substantial loss, massive loss, failed.  This does not put AT&T in a good position.  It’s as if the theater is being set for a DOJ showdown with AT&T. 

    AT&T will need to withdraw immediately.  There is no winning scenario.  They save in the long term by not allowing DT on the board of directors.  Pay the 6 billion to DT, let DT spin off T mobile to someone else (Centurylink?).  It’s a good asset right…still makes money for DT.

    Has anyone noticed DTEGY stock drop by 25 percent since may?

    • Greg

      I had noticed that, and it made me wonder how their current stock woes affect how they handle their sale of T-Mobile.

  • Jeff

    I don’t see anything great about this news. As far as I can tell it just means AT&T can stretch this out longer as they rework things and send them back to the FCC.

    DT still doesn’t want us, and we still have to find a buyer that both they and the DOJ and FCC find acceptable.

    • Tbyrne

      That’s because you’re being pessimistic. Be a optimist. It’s more rewarding.

    • Guest

      You make valid points jeff, but I will take any victory, no matter how small. 

    • The good thing is that the 100+ page report the FCC released is pretty damning. The DOJ has a lot of good data to use in their court case. And, IMHO, AT&T has huge hurdles to get over. After reading that document, I don’t see how AT&T can win now. The FCC makes too many good points and backs up their arguments with good data.

  • J. Williams

    And here we gooooooo lol.

  • FYI. You can read the FCC findings here: (warning large PDF): http://transition.fcc.gov/transaction/ATT-TMO-redacted-PDF-final.pdf

  • Anonymous

    To everyone who is worry about what happens now? That is worry about what DT,will do now? Whatever they are going to do,they will do it. No sense worrying about it. If they do sell Tmobile to another company,am sure it will take awhile before that happens. They will take their $6billions,
    go on vaction,buy couple of new $500,000 cars, buy couple of more $10million houses etc. And Tmobile? Didn’t they put aside $64millions for there fatcats? So now they can take that money
    use it to invest in the company if there masters of DT,let them or more than likely they will tell them
    send us a check for that $64millions,because we are going to give ourself  party! 

  • S2j3607

    I don’t see it as a winning situation in any direction. I hate att and they will ruin tmo but on the flipside DT doesn’t want tmo. Looks like were effed either way. And if att does manage to aquire tmo, a large portion of tmo customers will end up with leap wireless, id be pissed off, cricket sucks too.

    • Anonymous

      40% to leap wireless aint gonna happen. Leap is not t-mobile to play the same role as t-mobile. This is just ATTs last ditch effort which is gonna be a big waste. More $$$ loss for ATT. Go FCC.

  • so the FCC claimed to be protecting the consumer, it’s all about competition and we need TMO huh .. well how exactly will they react when DT pulls TMO from the US? lol  .. i doubt they’d be as concerned about a 100% job loss at that point.

    • Anonymous

      For someone to think DT will just take 30 billion loss is nothing but stupidity….
      So just because your 30K car is not likable, you gonna drop it off at someone’s garage ?? or you gonna sell if for firesale at 15K ??.

      • Frank

        They won’t just scrap everything, but if they can’t find a buyer for their entire operation they could easily being to sell off their holdings in bits and pieces to the highest bidder(s).

        • exactly Frank .. i don’t know what the deal is with these mindless consumers. just get over it .. TMO is not going to stage some miraculous comeback and be the king of the cell market.  DT will stick with its initial plan and dissolve their interest in the US.  just get over it.

        • ogopogo

          @Deacon – Just as you can speculate, so can @no2apple. You don’t know, and that is something that YOU need to get over.

  • Anonymous

    I think ATT was doing the leap wireless adventure before reading the report. Now they better suck it up and save face. Even selling 40% to leap is not going to work. They need to sell like 70%+ for this country to have 4th player.  

    I would say, FCC or DOJ start reviewing ATT for being too big and start a SPLIT ASAP. That would make ATT run for cover. If ATT drags this further pissing off the govt ( with no hope for republicans in 2012..), they are in for a SPLIT.  I hate these suckers so bad, I want them to go away and stop screwing everyone else. 

  • Anonymous

    Couple of additional things… FCC said it would meet any future applications on this merger with the same concerns that it lays out in its report… Also, they (the FCC) pointed out that in 2002 att’s wireless division had 70,000 employees, but after three mergers since then, it only had 67,000.


  • me

    Those of you who keep saying that T-Mobile might now be bought up by the CATV co’s are forgetting one other player:  “CenturyLink”, the former Qwest, the former Northwestern Bell.  CenturyLink is now the 3rd largest “Baby Bell”, as the others have all merged into Verizon and AT&T.  Yes, it’s true that PUBLICLY CenturyLink has said they’re more interested in being a broadband and video company, but only time will tell what they actually end up doing.  The other Baby Bells have national cell phone companies, it’s only natural that CenturyLink may feel the pressure to buy up the only available game in town. 

    As for the needed cash, both to buy T-Mobile and to build out the network…   Yea, that’s an issue I’m ignorant of.  I can’t say if CL has the resources or not.

  • wsj

    so now AT&T is going to tell DT to sell off assets to LEAP to make this sellable the FCC and if you do not then you are not cooperating and thus we do not owe you the money.  The current deal is over, now its new deal time.  And my fellow lawyers will get rich fighting over the contract money.

    • UMA_Fan

      How does it feel to be completely wrong?

  • jon

    Read the following CNET article. It spells out perfectly what tmobs options are moving forward. It include the option of DT hanging onto tmob because of the cash infusion via at&t breakup fee. An option I was shouted down for suggesting (looking at you David)…anyway I happen to think dt hanging onto tmob or a partnershit with a cable co with an eventual spin off are the two likey options once the dust settles..

    • That article reiterates the very same points I made in my own article and that every other article makes about the very same topic. Everyone knows what the alternatives are. There is nothing “new” in that report.

      • jon

        What’s ‘new’ about it is a real journalist who interviews real professionals (business professor in this case) coming to the conclusion that DT may change its mind once that breakup fee is in hand. That is something you absolutely ridiculed me on just 24hrs earlier. On top of that, you called me a liar when I tried to explain that salaried managers were given talking points so that they had answers for employees that have heard Sprint rumors for the last five years. You can continue to be condescending with your “I have a bridge for sale in San Fran”, or ” there is nothing new here” comments. But the fact remains none of us have a clue what DT’s intentions are once that breakup fee is in hand.
        Oh, and by the way, I saw your post prior to you editing it. I’m glad you had second thoughts about your post because it made you sound juvenile.

        • First and foremost, he is a journalist and claims to be so. I don’t and never have. I don’t have the contacts or connections to do a lot of the interviews other sites with much higher profiles have the ability to perform. I wish it was so, but such is the life of an independent blogger.

          My intention wasn’t to call you a liar, only that I thought your choice wording of the “talking points” were not actually as you made them. I don’t believe it was said that all employees would be protected in the event of a Sprint deal. We know some talking points exist, or at least some sort of employee postings were highlighted because we’ve posted them here.

          You are right, we have zero idea what DT’s plans are. I personally don’t see them hanging onto T-Mobile for much longer, not in the way they have made clear their intentions to leave the US market. It’s clear they want out and Philip Humm was a response to that idea, he was brought in to make that happen.

          Honestly, this article, the CNET article doesn’t present anything new. It’s the same set of talking points everyone else is using to speculate, even the FCC report highlights Cablevision as a better solution for T-Mobile. My point wasn’t that this article wasn’t written properly or backed up without facts, I’m just saying there wasn’t anything here that we didn’t already know. The list of true potential buyers or partners is small enough that its hard to write a similar story without including almost all of the same suspects. I also think we can’t write off a possible move by America Movil, who already has a combined base of close to 15 million customers in the US and they certainly have enough money to make a serious play for T-Mobile.

          For the sake of your loved one who is an employee, I hope the company can find some solution that maintains all of the hard working and awesome employees who populate the T-Mobile ranks. If that means DT reinvests billions, then we will all welcome that with open arms. I still think that a cable company is the best solution, someone that will let T-Mobile operate independently but the financial backing and spectrum holdings of a larger partner. We have really have to wonder how DT would feel about the sudden need to reinvest money into T-Mobile and would it only be a half-hearted effort that they would give up on the moment another solid offer comes their way?

      • Stakkabo

        David your article had too much irresponsible speculation.

        • That could very well be true, I suppose that’s why it’s an opinion based editorial and not anything I would even remotely state as fact.

  • Lu

    random but it really does suck seeing so many people support T-Mobile when even there CEO Phillup Humm is selling em out.  It’s like DT put him in charge last year just to pull the final plug on the company.  

  • Havoktek

    Aweeeee Yeahhhhh…….So now that the eclipse of the Death Star is moving away…..What now?
    We rebuild the Jedi Magenta Council????? Who will lead???

  • Wilma Flintstone

    What needs to happen now is we need to kick that Tmobile Sell Out CEO Phillip Humm out of the company and find a replacement that can improve the company

    • jon

      In all fairness to Humm, we don’t know what HE thought he was brought here to do. He had just been successful in brokering a deal between DT and Orange. Maybe DT told him he would be coming here to get the Clearwire deal across the finish line. T-Mobile was working hard to purchase it from Sprint…Maybe only after getting here at&t shoved an obscene amount of money, 8% of the new at&t, and a seat on the board of directors in there face. It has all the ingredients of a deal that is “too good to pass up”….all I’m sayin is we can’t have a lynch mob mentality when we don’t know what he knew and when he knew it..I can tell you one thing though; things haven’t been the same since Sue Nokes left. She was truly an inspirational and motivational leader. They need to beg her to come back to give this company some direction.

      • I’ll give you that, customer service has certainly fallen off since her departure. They absolutely need her to come back.