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AT&T Slams DOJ, Calls Its FCC Guidelines Unlawful

Article Comments  29  

Apr 25, 2013, 2:29 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today said that recommendations made earlier this month by the Department of Justice regarding future spectrum auctions are illegal and should be ignored by the Federal Communications Commission. The Justice Department suggested to the FCC that it set up rules to prevent the nation's largest holders of spectrum from amassing more in future auctions. Further, the Justice Department argued that the nation's smaller carriers be given a fair chance to purchase low-frequency spectrum to combat the massive 700MHz holdings owned by AT&T and Verizon Wireless. In a letter to the FCC, 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. The Commission's mandate under the Communications Act is to promote the competitive process, not to pick winners and losers in that process. Rigging spectrum auctions to favor Sprint and T-Mobile would be unlawful." Watts lays out 10 pages worth of scathing arguments and discussion about what he calls uninformed musings by the Justice Department. Watts concludes by saying, "The record overwhelmingly supports spectrum aggregation policies that apply equally to all providers by employing a safe harbor spectrum screen that includes, and treats equally, all suitable available spectrum. A spectrum screen ... coupled with case-by-case review for transactions that exceed the screen, strikes the appropriate regulatory balance The Department's contrary view of an auction that is designed to favor particular competitors would be unlawful and completely unwarranted as a matter of public policy and should be rejected."

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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.
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.
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...
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 competiti...

Apr 27, 2013, 6:56 PM

They were all small once...

There is always the big companys and the little companys. And some how even some small buisness's become big even in the wake of these massive corps. AT&T or its derivative didn't start out huge. They didn't get assistance to get where they are why should the current small guys? Let me guess everyone should make the same money and live the same? The world isn't fair and neither is business. How will we ever have the successful when you guys wanna make everything equal?
What?!!!? When was ATT small? If you remembered when the government actually cared about busting up monopolies, instead of picking and choosing them the way it does today, you would remember that ATT has already been busted up before. But ATT has alwa...

Apr 25, 2013, 3:58 PM

Totally Agreed

If the auctions in question are freely open to all carriers then the DOJ is out of line.

Apr 25, 2013, 3:15 PM

I'm sure

Verizon is working on a letter of their own to send next
My guess is yes.

The two largest companies have enjoyed basking in paradise while the smaller companies have laid claim that those with the most money will always be able to purchase more goods.

John B.
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