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FCC Says AT&T's T-Mobile Acquisition Not in Public Interest

Article Comments  29  

Nov 22, 2011, 3:44 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e
updated Nov 22, 2011, 4:33 PM

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has filed a draft order concerning AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. In the order, the Genachowski has concluded that the AT&T/T-Mobile transaction is not in the public interest. He believes that the merger would violate antitrust laws, and believes that — rather than create jobs as AT&T claims — the merger will lead to massive job losses. The FCC says the merger would lead to an unprecedented concentration of power held by a few companies, and there is no evidence that the benefits would outweigh the harm. The draft is currently being reviewed by the other FCC commissioners, and won't be fully acted upon until December 13. If the draft order is approved by the remainder of the commission, the petition would then proceed to an administrative hearing, which would be similar to a trial and AT&T would be allowed to defend itself. The hearing would further delay the process of the acquisition, which is already facing a roadblock in the form of an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice. In a call with press held today, the FCC said that it examined hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, met with AT&T and T-Mobile more than 30 times, and received 50 petitions to deny the transaction. It said the paperwork filed by AT&T raises significant questions about the facts of the proposed merger. AT&T announced its intent to buy T-Mobile in March of this year. The Justice Department filed its lawsuit in August, and a trial is scheduled to begin in February 2012. The FCC's hearing — if so ordered — wouldn't take place until after the Justice Department's lawsuit has been concluded. The FCC itself cannot block the merger, but can send it to a judge, who can render a decision. AT&T initially thought the acquisition would go through by March 2012, but later extended the expected close date to June or July of 2012. It isn't immediately clear how much further the close date will be delayed by this move from the FCC. The FCC has, however, approved AT&T's purchase of 700MHz spectrum from Qualcomm. AT&T said, "The FCC’s action today is disappointing. It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both. At this time, we are reviewing all options."

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Drunk

Nov 29, 2011, 11:55 PM

Google+

Thanks for adding it.
WiWavelength

Nov 24, 2011, 3:51 AM

AT&T-T-Mobile withdraw FCC applications; still intend to pursue merger

Well, this is interesting. AT&T has just put out a press release announcing that AT&T and T-Mobile have withdrawn their nearly 1700 pending license transfer applications with the FCC and that AT&T will book a $4 billion charge this quarter for potential break up fees owed to T-Mobile. However, the press release also states that AT&T and T-Mobile will continue to seek anti trust clearance for the merger.

Hmm, the timing of the press release -- 2:30am on Thanksgiving morning -- is odd to say the least. Usually when companies do a weekend or holiday news dump like this, they do so in an attempt to bury bad news. This could be the first admission of defeat, and it would not be all that surprising if AT&T and T-Mobile were to formally call...
(continues)
WiWavelength

Nov 22, 2011, 5:49 PM

ding dong the deal is dead...

This development effectively puts the kibosh on the merger. AT&T's duplicitous machinations fail. Common sense and consumer choice prevail.

AJ
That maybe, but they'll fight to the bitter end.

However the outcome, it seems tmobile will be in a worse off situation than before the merger announcement in March. If only they had the iphone....
...
so Verizon can have their stupid coverage map, and buyup as needed, and the AT&T TMo merger NOT in consumer interest?? Um, since when does the government know what's best for consumers?? And how was the Verizon deal in the best interest?? sorry, FCC ...
(continues)
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This_guy_right_here

Nov 22, 2011, 6:10 PM

oh no!

This would have stimulated the economy and stifled the left wing conservatives.
HIP HIP HURRRRAY!!!!
attrep42

Nov 23, 2011, 10:38 AM

hmmm

I'm a little saddened but not at all surprised. I didnt think it would happen in the first place.As someone has previously said in this thread, I dont think that this is truly in the publics best intrest. I see no threat of a monopoly here, lets be real, how many customers would shift to smaller carriers or "cheaper" ones if the merger was completed? Not to mention, lol, how many people would switch after one week of using att service??? lol Just my opinion, and im not biased b/c of my current employment, I actually have service with tmobile 🙂
 
 
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