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AT&T Claims It Hasn't Planned How It's Going to Integrate T-Mobile

by andy2373    Aug 15, 2011, 5:57 AM

Splendid. Surprised

In the "that's kind of hard to believe" department, AT&T's lawyers claim to the FCC that the company has no idea how it's going to integrate its $39B USD prospective purchase into the company and that it has formed no plans to that extent.

It writes (pg. 10)

AT&T will not be in a position to make any final determinations about possible changes in T-Mobile USA until it is able to obtain more detailed information about the operations of the company, which will occur later in the acquisition process. In addition, any preliminary plans are subject to the outcome of the regulatory process. AT&T has not yet begun detailed integration planning efforts.

It reasserts its lack of planning later on, stating (pg. 18

AT&T has not yet begun detailed integration planning efforts relating to its marketing or advertising efforts or other operations.

It later essentially claims that T-Mobile hasn't given it enough information to make concrete integration plans, writing (pg. 32):

AT&T has not yet begun detailed integration planning and its knowledge of T-Mobile USA's operations is necessarily limited at this early stage. The actual process of determining which specific T-Mobile USA sites to integrate and which to decommission will require substantially more data from T-Mobile USA regarding its network as well as a more thorough engineering analysis of each area's characteristics and capacity needs, which could change by the time the Transaction closes. Consequently, AT&T has not yet determined the exact number or location of T-Mobile USA towers or other locations used for transmission of signals that will be integrated into the combined company's network to increase network density.

AT&T does refer to handful of details on possible high-level integration plans, but it is essentially refusing to provide the FCC with a comprehensive plan of how it's going to integrate T-Mobile. While it's true that integration is dependent on restrictions the FCC may impose, should the deal be approved, it's hard to believe that AT&T doesn't have complete and detailed plans of how it hopes to execute its biggest acquisition and integration in recent history.

Either AT&T's investors should be pretty nervous at AT&T's lack of detailed analysis in such an important decision, or AT&T isn't being forthcoming and the FCC auditors should be pretty irate.

If AT&T is being honest here, if anything, it lends ammo to those who believe the acquisition is an effort to stifle competition. After all, AT&T is saying it's not really sure how it's going to integrate T-Mobile; but left unsaid is the fact that what is sure is that the acquisition will mean one less would-be competitor on the market.

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