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Senate Starts Probe of AT&T/T-Mobile Deal

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May 11, 2011, 11:12 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T and T-Mobile today appeared before a senate subcommittee hearing to in their first attempt to convince the government that the proposed merger of the two wireless companies would be good for U.S. consumers. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and T-Mobile CEO Philip Humm both addressed the subcommittee and spoke of the benefits the merger would create for the public, such as helping bring mobile broadband to more rural Americans. Voicing support for the deal, the Communication Workers of American sided with AT&T and T-Mobile, though it cautioned that some restrictions should be placed on the merger. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, Cellular South CEO Victor Meena, and Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, all took the stand to make their opposition of the merger clear. The Federal Communications Commission has said it will conduct a thorough review of the merger, which would create the nation's largest network operator. The deal must also pass review by the department of justice.



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May 11, 2011, 1:56 PM

"Voicing support for the deal, the Communication Workers of American sided with AT&T and T-Mobile"

*Bleeping* sellouts! Talk about selling one's members down the river.
OMG Please if we have a government as an advocate that protects the interest of the American Wireless Consumer please don't less this deal pass!

It will make big blue the largest super carrier by a staggering margin.

They will have a monopoly on...
This should not be a surprise. CWA represents the majority of unionized labor within AT&T. The merger would increase the number of employees represented by CWA.

Remember, there are always multiple sides to any issue.

May 12, 2011, 6:10 PM

fun stuff

i was listening to this and it was very interesting. lots of good topics to discuss and a lot of scrutiny and great questions from the congress

May 12, 2011, 2:12 PM


I heard that T-Mobile lost a ton of customers in Q1, a net loss of at least 100,000, if i'm right.

I think AT&T&T will use that info to make it seem like T-Mobile needs to be bought by AT&T to keep AT&T competitive.

I personally think that TMO customers jumped ship when they heard they were going to AT&T.

I personally hope they went to Sprint (I like and use Verizon, but let's give Sprint more of the market share and force Verizon to consider its prices yeah?).

The point of it all is: I wish it was easy enough to boycott. Actually, I wish people remembered they CAN boycott, and watch as AT&T and TMO scramble to scrap the deal when they lose 500,000 customers in the course of a month, or even more. I dunno.
"I heard that T-Mobile lost a ton of customers in Q1, a net loss of at least 100,000, if I'm right."

true, but remember that Sprint has been losing MILLIONS of customers... sometimes as much as a million per quarter. Its a bit better now, but still...

May 12, 2011, 12:07 PM

Government infefficiency in action

This is one of the reasons why our government is costing so much. We have a federal agency assigned with the task of administering and overseeing the communications industry. Why does the Senate need to run their own probe? Is this just a way to meet Al Franken's need for public air time since he is no longer on SNL with the simpering Stuart Smiley character?

I am not against government review of the merger, but the FCC and SEC are very capable of it - in fact, I would say much more so than the Senate.

May 11, 2011, 11:30 AM

Contradicting Words of Philipp Humm

I read the report that T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm set out this morning and while a lot of it sounds like it makes sense, a lot more of it sounds bogus...

He mentions both AT&T and T-Mobile are short on spectrum and that neither company can launch LTE 4G on their own to the expectations of a national network - but if BOTH companies are short on spectrum then what happened to all that spectrum T-Mobile bought and is NOW finally using? What happened to all that spectrum AT&T bought in 700Mhz that they wanna use for LTE?
AT&T said they wanna use T-Mobile's 1700/2100 for LTE, but that isnt going to really work because T-Mobile themselves stated that their spectrum wont give in-building coverage not will it work well in rural areas (distance) ...
You are absolutely correct! It's a matter of listen to what I am saying and ignore the facts.

Not to make light of this but this resembles the scene in the Simpson Movie when the head of EPA was presenting options to the charectacure of a fictiona...
rwalford79 said:
Just a few things that just DONT quite add up.

Yep, you got it. In posts a few weeks ago, I detailed the flaws in the AT&T-T-Mobile spectrum plan:

https://www.phonescoop.com/news/discuss.php?fm= »...

May 11, 2011, 2:53 PM

What right does the government have to control this merger?

It should be up to the consumers and companies. Not the government.
Really? You really don't understand? Fair trade act and anti monopoly laws don't ring a bell?

Ugh.. just go back to playing Angry Birds on your iPhone...

It's consumer ignorance like this that scares me that It just might pass and that is what ...
In an industry with very little regulations and diminishing competition, it will be impossible for us "Consumers" to control anything the remaining national carriers feel like doing. Walking from one carrier to the next to get your point across, is be...

May 11, 2011, 3:00 PM

Verizon doesn't care

I think Verizon doesn't care because they already have a 4G network. Yes it had a little hiccup, but it is already and will continue to get better than what ATT has, and even with the merger it's going to take ATT time.
So as some have mentioned things don't add up in the ATT/TMO merger, so if once the buyout takes place customers see a degradation in service there going to defect to Verizon. Which will buy then have far more 4G devices and worked out the kinks in their 4G network.
They probably don't care because they will try and buy Sprint later... so they don't want to look like hypocrites. 😉

May 11, 2011, 3:17 PM

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -Santayana
Well said
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