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AT&T Slams DOJ, Calls Its FCC Guidelines Unlawful

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Figures.

Slammer

Apr 25, 2013, 3:18 PM
---" AT&T senior EVP and General Counsel Wayne Watts wrote, "It is surprising that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice would even propose measures that are so nakedly designed to help specific companies."---

First) How did I know it would be AT&T throwing a fit?

Secondly) Mr. Watts is falsely defining the Anti-trust issue at hand as the DOJ is doing exactly what is in the best interest to protect consumer property from possibly being abused as an extreme anti-competitive measure.

John B.
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Tofuchong

Apr 25, 2013, 3:46 PM
Yeah, I really did not understand that either. I agree, the DOJ is doing just exactly what is the right thing to do.

Sounds like whining to me, pretty much. I would want this regulation to pass.
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Hays21

Apr 25, 2013, 5:30 PM
I disagree. I do not think it is the right thing to do. I have seen what its like to be dominated by the bad rich corporations. I live in small rural midwest town. We had two small stores close down because a WalMart decided to open up in our small town. WalMart is rich and can afford to do as they please and offer low prices compared to these small stores. Cases like these are very unfortunate and reasonably unfair to the smaller companys, but, there should not be somebody to tell these companies that they cannot buy more property or expand. If AT&T or Verizon were not allowed to purchase these because they are a larger company than it should be the same for all services and companies. But, this is America. Free Enterprise.
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Downscripting

Apr 25, 2013, 5:53 PM
Hays21 said:
But, this is America. Free Enterprise.


This is America where the people with the money call the shots
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Hays21

Apr 25, 2013, 6:04 PM
true and unfortunate
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bobc74

Apr 25, 2013, 6:07 PM
But your argument is flawed in the respect of price. Unlike Wal-mart, Verizon and at&t do not offer lower prices than their competitors. If anything, their prices are higher than Sprint, T-mobile and others.
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Vmac39

Apr 25, 2013, 9:05 PM
Neither does Verizon. This isn't just about ATT or Verizon. This isn't about who has the better prices. This is about the smaller companies supposedly not being able to buy spectrum. Unless I'm unclear on the auction process, when it comes to spectrum, any and all carriers are welcome to participate.

It's not the larger companies fault for being able to afford more spectrum and out bidding the smaller companies. I understand the other issues concerning the larger companies like Verizon and ATT, but this would be unfair practice. That's like going to a car auction and a millionaire buys up all the quality cars. If he has the money, who is the government to say that he can't, just because you or I can't afford to do so.

Is that bad for...
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Jarahawk

Apr 26, 2013, 3:29 AM
Anti-trust law. Google it or whatever the hell you kids do these days. But to make a comment without having any idea what you are talking about is tantamount to a fly landing in my pudding. Sure you are entitled to state an uninformed opinion but that doesn't mean you will not be swatted in the nose.
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Vmac39

Apr 26, 2013, 9:23 AM
What about anti-trust? I simply made a comment based off of the comments that were quoted in the article. It seems to be a legitimate gripe, despite how people may feel about ATT and Verizon. If the larger companies go through the proper channels to apply for auction licensing, then why would it be wrong for them to purchase, if the government allows it? To keep them from buying, simply because they have more than the others is wrong. The current auction law doesn't state that.

What it does state, however, is that if the companies do not make use of spectrum, they give it up in exchange for profit, from another company who buys it. That was the point I believe ATT was making, by putting out that statement, and the point I was making in m...
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Slammer

Apr 26, 2013, 10:09 AM
The DOJ has a specific obligation in holding carriers to play the fair game as it states here in the Statutory Framework of the law.

---" Congress enacted Section 6404 of the Spectrum Act, which modifiesSection 309(j)to prohibit the Commission from preventing an otherwise qualified entity from participating in an auction, but reaffirms the Commission’s authority “to adopt and enforce rules of general applicability, including rules concerning spectrum aggregation that promote competition.”--

The first part may seem to the point you were trying to make. However, the second part clearly states that the exception is indeed to promote healthy competition. This means the competitive aspects must remain intact at all costs. When dealing...
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Vmac39

Apr 26, 2013, 11:36 AM
Always nice to hear clear and intelligent dialogue. Thank you for the clarification. I just like to look at both sides of things, when possible. Unfortunately, too manny people respond to how they feel about subjects like this.

Everyone has a point of view, right, wrong or somewhere in between. Again, thank you.
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CellStudent

Apr 26, 2013, 11:16 AM
Vmac39 said:
What about anti-trust? I simply made a comment based off of the comments that were quoted in the article. It seems to be a legitimate gripe, despite how people may feel about ATT and Verizon. If the larger companies go through the proper channels to apply for auction licensing, then why would it be wrong for them to purchase...


Anti-trust is really the only issue at play here.

The (in this case, correct) philosophy is that large market players can squeeze out smaller players leading to instability in the long-term. Allowing spectrum auctions to be completely unmanaged and 100% price-rationed is extremely poor policy.

Free-market economics works 99% of the time. It does NOT work ...
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Vmac39

Apr 26, 2013, 11:39 AM
Understood.
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Zpike

May 2, 2013, 11:50 AM
dupe
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Slammer

Apr 25, 2013, 6:19 PM
---" WalMart is rich and can afford to do as they please and offer low prices compared to these small stores."---

Unfortunately, your statement is contrary to the two large wireless carriers motive. They are not offering the "Low prices" compared to the smaller carriers. It was Walmart offering "comparable"prices that gave your area a choice. However, Mr. Watts specifically calls out Sprint and T-Mobile as point of attack when the DOJ has made it known that "any" carrier which is willing to utilize the very posh 700Mhz spectrum should have a fair shake.

AT&T calling out the two smaller carriers under VZW, is a flag that they want to manhandle even more consumer friendly spectrum to control in areas where the smaller wouldn't be able t...
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Hays21

Apr 25, 2013, 6:23 PM
Paranoid very fair argument.
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DarkStar

Apr 26, 2013, 3:20 PM
Actually the walmart comparision is fair, but instead of offering lower prices they offer better service that other companies refuse to compete with. However, I do think that T-mobile and Sprint are finally trying to compete when it comes to coverage.
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Jarahawk

Apr 26, 2013, 3:24 AM
??? What exactly does this being America have to do with free enterprise? There is no unfettered capitalism here. If that were so then ABC/NBC would never have been broken up or AT&T or Standard Oil. Give it a rest already. AT&T and Verizon have been violating auction rules for years. Verizon broke its promise to leave Alltel alone for ten years following the merger that created the behemoth in the first place. Seriously. Enough is enough. When AT&T had the audacity to attempt to swallow T-Mobile up that was the straw that broke the camel's back. I am not surprised that companies are going to attempt to build monopolies. They should no more be expected to play fair than taxpayer's should be expected to voluntarily pay taxes. It is simp...
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Hays21

Apr 26, 2013, 12:06 PM
If it is an open auction though, who should say that they cannot partake.

With my first comment, I like generating conversations.
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DarkStar

Apr 26, 2013, 3:21 PM
Except there is no monoploy here. There are two companies and they compete against each other.
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Jarahawk

Apr 27, 2013, 4:41 PM
Laughing

Bingo!

AT&T and Verizon will NEVER admit that. When I worked at Verizon they were constantly reminding us not to disparage Sprint and to pretend that we considered them a competitor. Deep inside though...we knew the truth. AT&T was our only competition. Nothing has changed. TWO wireless carriers just isn't going to get it. So yeah, restraints will indeed be placed upon the Duopoly to ensure that there are alternatives. Thanks for playing.
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Zpike

May 2, 2013, 11:52 AM
The main difference is that spectrum is a public asset being auctioned by the federal government- the same federal government that has an obligation to promote competition and bust up monopolies. When telecom companies were smaller and wireless spectrum was virtually a new asset, having an auction was a very sensible way to decide which corporations got access to these public resources. However, that is no longer the case, and the government has an obligation to promote competition, not to give big corporations any public assets they demand just because they have the money.
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marufio

Apr 26, 2013, 12:01 PM
Let the people of America decide on whether they want ATT or Walmart business it should not be up to anyone else to tell them that they can no longer compete and be happy with what they have. The American people will have to live with their decisions whether they be good or bad.
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mike87

Apr 26, 2013, 12:16 PM
I agree with you to an extent, John. But at what point point do you say that true competition should be hindered to allow room for the little guys? If it really was true competition, then AT&T has a valid point... they are simply winning the competition. So if they did skew the outcome and then T- mobile gets huge...well... when is it too huge?

Just asking for your humble opinion with some empathy...

To quote a Mark Knopfler song (which quotes Ray Kroc), "It's dog eat dog, rat eat rat..."

...Isn't it? Wouldn't you?

The song is "Boom, like that", and I can't tell the level of sarcasm vs. pure thought-provoking intentions.... Great song though, you should give it a listen.
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