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Justice Dept. Files Antitrust Complaint Against AT&T and T-Mobile Merger 301

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-ma-was-so-close-to-being-rebuilt dept.
Hitting the front page for the first time, AngryDeuce writes with a piece of exciting news hot off the news wire. From the article: "The Justice Department is blocking AT&T's $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA, saying the acquisition of the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country by No. 2 AT&T would reduce competition and raise prices. The deal has faced tough opposition from consumer groups and No. 3 carrier Sprint since it was announced in March." The DOJ has released a full statement on their decision to file the antitrust suit, and AT&T has drafted a response. So much for AT&T's paltry promise of bringing 5000 unskilled call center jobs back to the U.S. if the merger were approved. Competition may yet live!
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Justice Dept. Files Antitrust Complaint Against AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

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  • Hallelujah! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Savantissimo (893682) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @12:06PM (#37265472) Journal

    Their own internal documents show AT&T does not need T-Mobile to expand service, and that AT&T intends to raise prices. This is a deal that should not happen. At last the DOJ does something right on the merger front.

  • Re:From the TFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @12:20PM (#37265634)

    Standard practice in M&A. The acquiring company must always put something on the table if the deal doesn't go through due to the restrictions placed on the company to be acquired by the SEC and the agreement the two companies enter into. Google has put similar stuff on the table for Motorola if their deal doesn't go through.

  • by jittles (1613415) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @12:21PM (#37265648)

    The HTC Evo 4G and Evo 3D are both great phones (3D gimmicking asside). Just because they aren't iPhones, doesn't mean they aren't good. And yes Sprint has poor coverage in a few areas, but they have amazing coverage in others. Not to mention you can't beat the price. I left AT&T and my iPhone after AT&T decided they could alter the way they applied my corporate discount in the middle of my contract. Even after paying an early termination fee, I was saving $30 a month with Sprint in just a few months.

    Oh yeah and I have a hell of a lot fewer dropped calls with Sprint, too.And no more "The network is busy" when trying to make a phone call.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @12:27PM (#37265726) Journal

    Every once in a while, the Feds get it right. From the article,

    "Moreover, the department said that AT&T could obtain substantially the same network enhancements that it claims will come from the transaction if it simply invested in its own network without eliminating a close competitor."

    We have been saying this here forever. AT&T et al need to invest in their own infrastructure. It is about time that the Federal government is on board with that.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @12:35PM (#37265812)

    I am sitting a floor above ~400 call center agents, this is in the USA. 100% of them use English as their primary language. 10% of them also speak another language.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @12:59PM (#37266132)

    Wrong.

    AT&T Wireless had a TDMA and GSM network before Cingular. AT&T went from AMPS to TDMA to GSM. You might be thinking of US Cellular and Cricket when customer regions were swapped due to divestments. I was there.

    The ideal outcome is that Sprint dumps it's CDMA network post-haste and adopts the GSM-LTE standards. Reason? iPhone. T-Mobile gets the iPhone next. The entire reason Sprint is in such a hurting position right now is because they have no plan, and are seeking dead-end solutions like Clearwire.

    The DOJ, should they bring down the ban-hammer, should tell the American cellular providers to adopt a common network (LTE next generation), all phones are to be carrier unlocked and usable on any network. If they want competition, they need to break down the anti-competitive barriers first. Incompatible frequencies, technologies and subsidies are what keeps the mobile phone carriers customers from churn.

  • Re:From the TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by generalhavok (1432165) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @01:07PM (#37266242)

    It makes sense. Think about all the business that T-Mobile lost while this thing was pending. People did not renew, some people did not switch to T-Mobile due to the uncertainty, etc. If it DOESN'T go through, T-Mobile needs to be compensated for that loss.

    Copying a post of mine from earlier, yes, T-Mobile actually will be compensated quite well for this.

    If this deal is blocked, it would not be bad news for T-Mobile as some here have claimed. According to Bloomberg, [bloomberg.com]

    "Should regulators reject the deal, which would create the biggest U.S. wireless carrier, AT&T would have to pay Deutsche Telekom $3 billion in cash. It would also provide T-Mobile USA with wireless spectrum in some regions and reduced charges for calls into AT&T’s network, for a total package valued at as much as $7 billion, Deutsche Telekom said this month."

    So T-Mobile would get $3 billion in cash, more spectrum, and reduced fees for calls going through AT&T's network. This would seem to be good news for T-Mobile, as all of these things would make them more competitive.

  • by Glendale2x (210533) <slashdot@NOSpaM.ninjamonkey.us> on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @01:51PM (#37266804) Homepage

    I'm pretty sure Nextel was iDEN, not GSM.

  • Re:Hallelujah (Score:5, Informative)

    by 517714 (762276) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @02:05PM (#37267028)
    They need more towers, not more frequencies. Accidentally leaked documents show that they are aware of the problem, that they chose not to solve the problem, and that the purchase of T-Mobile is not a real solution.
  • by RubberChainsaw (669667) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @07:04PM (#37270062)

    Three felonies a day? Give me a break. You have gone off the deep end.

    I am not posting to defend the GP's statements. Instead, I would like to point you to the book Three Felonies a Day [amazon.com], which I have read. It does a good job of showing the pervasiveness with which liberty has been (and continues to be) eroded by inappropriate application of outdated laws and regulations. It was written by a well respected lawyer who champion's individuals' legal rights. It is worth a read.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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