May 31 AT 7:59 PM Edgar Cervantes 32 Comments

Should the FCC block the AT&T, T-Mobile merger?

Fear of a mobile carrier duopoly struck the U.S. when AT&T announced its plans to acquire T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telecom. Though there may be some that support this acquisition (or a general sense of apathy), most websites’ comments prove that people are very much against the proposed acquisition. People are not the only ones against such possible merger though, as Sprint has firmly stood against the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile since the beginning.

Further proving that it will do anything possible to stop the merger, Sprint has recently filed an official opposition to the FCC. Through this 377 page document, Sprint asks the FCC to block said merger, stating that it does not support AT&T in this deal for multiple reasons.

Of course, Sprint’s main statement is that the acquisition would substantially hurt competition and thus the consumer. As you can imagine, though, Sprint’s filing includes much more detail about their opposition. One interesting point is that Sprint states that AT&T is “playing naive” in stating that the acquisition would be necessary in order to support AT&T’s future growth in services and customers.

According to Sprint, this is simply an excuse from AT&T, and this company is simply trying to broaden its spectrum. Sprint claims that there is a wide “unused” spectrum, and that AT&T has not been managing its resources well enough. Sprint states that they have been planning ahead of time in order to be able to support the carrier’s future customers and services, and AT&T should be able to do the same.

Of course, the most important factor here is you, the consumer, and Sprint won’t be able to do this alone. In case you missed it, the FCC actually allowed the community to express its feelings towards this possible acquisition. This opened up the doors for us, as a community, to tell the FCC what people want. If you haven’t done so yet, go fill out the form at the FCC’s website. We would also like to know what you guys think about this, are you on Sprint’s side? Do you think the merger should be blocked by the FCC? Do you think the AT&T/T-Mobile deal should be allowed to go through? Please leave us your comments stay tuned for more details on this.

Via: Slash Gear

Source: FCC

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • http://Website Hector manzanarez

    It is essential that the fcc block this merger. T—mobile has long been my carrier and their rates, customer service, and services have been top notch in my personal experience. Furthermore, their commitment to android has been unparalleled. At& t’s subsequent acquisition of tmobile would end such a great company and create a serious drop in competition that should not be overlooked.

  • http://Website Micah

    I’m pretty against government intervention, but this is just going to ruin competition in the mobile sector. The other thing is everyone gets screwed except AT&T and the german owned t-mobile. I hope this doesn’t pass, because there’s no way in hell i’ll be going with at&t.

    • http://Website Brinkle

      Talk about competition.
      The USER chose to go with the big two, ALTHOUGH the had the chance to support smaller companies like t-mo and sprint.

      AND YET they chose att or vzw.

      BLAME THE CUSTOMERS, not the fcc.

      • http://Website JW

        Please elaborate a little on what you are trying to say. I don’t feel as if I’m understanding what point your trying to get across.

      • http://Website marc

        Nice recital of the invisible hand theory. Kind of sad that it’s just a myth to support a false theory of human trade and interaction.

        Of course someone will scoff at the idea that Capitalism and “free-markets” are quintessentially flawed, but the fact of the matter is that those theories were formed far before human behavior patterns and psychology were fully studied. The problem with allowing companies to become large beyond a certain point, which both Verizon and AT&T have, is that they start forming their own customer gravitational field (if you will) going with VZW or AT&T becomes a herding behavior influenced decision that is a common behavioral pattern in humans. People think we have free choice, when in reality there are so many subconscious patterns that dictate which choice you will tend to make prior to you even realizing that the choice exists.

        The mobile phone market in the USA is already a quasi monopoly or cartel when you start looking at the behavior of each component of the industry. It is similar to the Age of Robber Barons in the USA, where multiple companies created a “market” with “competition” at first glance, but upon further inspection it was obvious that prices were all the same, services were all the same, behaviors were all the same. VZW and AT&T and the other mobile companies to a certain extent are all selling the phones for the same price, data plans for the same price, and provide the same kinds of services using the same kinds of policies.

        Why can’t you get a regional plan anymore so we don’t have to pay to subsidize rural areas? If mobile companies can still make a profit on me using 5000 minutes (including in-network) for $45 a month talk time why is there no option to pay by the minute for $0.01/minute? Why do text messages cost insane amounts that are so far beyond what the market price is it is not even measurable?

        It’s all because the “free-market” has been compromised by corruption due to Capitalism allowing companies to grow so large that they grow exponentially and create uncompetitive markets and practices and use that power and influence and defrauded money to buy the legislature to skew things in their favor even more.

        The same thing and practices apply to the Cable TV and data industry. We are being defrauded and stolen from through market manipulating practices. It’s Econ 101 people, Monopolies!

        • http://Website kazahani

          A herding behavior? Right. So I suppose your solution would be to have bureaucrats save us from ourselves?

          Give me a break.

      • http://Website Bacon_Hat

        Being in the medical field, its important to have a good network. For example, hopefully that MD that you might need has Verizon in case they need to call him in or make an important decision because Sprint sucks where he lives. Not everyone buys a phone based on OS. For the MD’s working in the basement in my department they have no choice going with Verizon. As someone being on call sometimes I have to consciously think about where i’m at because I CHOSE Sprint (btw not an MD ^^).

        For some people it isn’t so easy to just dismiss then as being iSheep. That being said I hope that iPhone comes to Sprint and T-mobile. People who want the iPhone can finally judge the carrier based on its merits and not because the other two guys don’t have the iPhone.

  • http://Website Paul

    While I’m concerned about the possible pricing increase and potential loss of competition, in another sense, AT&T’s network is already superior to T-Mobile’s. I love my Android phones from T-Mobile, I left ATT for T-Mobile, and I love the phone(s) but hate the network. Then I got a job where they gave me an AT&T blackberry, hate the phone, but signal wise, it’ll run circles around my T-Mobile G2. AT&T always had good signal and reliable internet for me. T-Mobile’s signal had always been weaker, the internet sketchy. With this acquisition giving AT&T more spectrum, it could give them even greater coverage and signal strengths and give them even more bandwidth for superior, (read faster), internet. This I’m not too opposed to. I’d love for my thin, fast quad-core android phone to be on a blazing fast network. This is just the Devil’s advocate side of me. AT&T has been much more restrictive in their policies, much worst on customer service despite having 4x the employees to customer ratio than T-Mobile, they’ve not been the best with Android phones, etc. and T-Mobile has. Optimally I’d like to see a merger take the ‘best of both’ T-Mobile’s openness in their policies and treatment of Android phones and their customer service, and AT&T’s network coverage and bandwidth. Reality says that wouldn’t happen though.

    • http://Website JaylanPHNX

      I too would like to see the best of both companies, but unfortunately it’s not a merger, but a buyout, and AT&T is almost exclusively interested in T-Mobile’s spectrum and infrastructure. T-Mobile’s customers and services are incidental at best, chaff to be eliminated at worst.

  • themetatron

    Sadly, T-Mobile has been crippled just by the news of the acquisition. She’s been hemorrhaging customers, and IF this deal is killed (as it should be), T-Mobile is just acquisition bait for Sprint and Dan Hesse is well aware of that. No matter what happens in the next few months, T-Mobile is dead as a viable player in the mobile market.

    • http://Website Mike

      Sprint buying Tmobile?Sprint is so poor dude lol more like deutsche telecom buying sprint.Dan Hesse only wants the merger stopped because then sprint will be even farther behind in the mobile market

      • http://Website Richard Yarrell

        Right now DUDE sprint and tmobile have the best android devices on the market today and uocoming so honeslty…WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???? PRETTY MUCH NOTHING..

      • http://Website Bacon_Hat

        Also the fact that in the Sprint/T-mobile merger the No. 4 guy would own 50% of the new company? Hell no I wouldn’t want T-mobile under those terms.

        Just because you pay way more for comparable service you have to put down Sprint to justisfy those bills huh?

    • http://Website 5n4r35

      Wasn’t there talk that Google was also bidding on T-Mo? In any case if the deal doesn’t go through I would like to see Google buy T-Mo. Would be interesting to see how they integrate there services with the network.

  • http://Website Jesse

    Bring on the cellphone monopoly in the US.

  • http://Website Mark

    Sharing data with those Apple freak iPhone users….*shudders*

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    Im with vzw and i would dread the thought of sprint being the only cheaper option if i ever decided to leave vzw but people need an want choices ibstead

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    Minus the ibstead. : )

  • http://Website EUROPE>WORLD POLICE

    We europeans want a better network here, so leave US alone and invest here. We dont care about US – let them struggle alone with their evil companies.

    • http://Website kazahani

      Troll much?

  • http://Website jayy336

    A part of me is for the merger, the other part is not. I want it to happen because as a T-Mobile customer we’ll have even better phone reception and coverage. T-Mobile works where i live, but in some buildings 3G is non-existant. This is of course due to the frequency T-Mobile has 3G on. 4G is HSPA+, which is on the same frequency as 3G, so that doesn’t work well for coverage in some buildings. The network also drops from 3G/4G to EDGE a lot of the time depending on where one is at. With AT&T most of these issues would be solved, especially since AT&T will have LTE 4G on the 700MHZ band making it nice for in building coverage.

    The other part of me is NOT for the merger since AT&T would be the only GSM company in the states. If one is fed up with AT&T but still wants the option of having a GSM phone, who is one going to run to now? Thats right, no body. Also, AT&T is much more expensive than T-Mobile. AT&T says they’re not going to hike up prices post-merger, but you know all of that is a lie. Another reason why im against the merger is since AT&T promised T-Mobile $6 billion as break-up money should the merger not go through. They also promised to fork over extra spectrum and an agreement to roam on the network which is worth about $1billion. All of this is sure to already make T-Mobile’s coverage better, which is the only problem i have with T-Mo to begin with.

    Whatever happens, however, I believe T-Mobile customers end up winning in the end.

  • Moempire

    Agree. Considering how well it went when Alltel got bought up by Verizon which was not as large of a deal but about 13 million subscribers. AT&T will do whatever they want which will be all about the money and say goodbye to T-Mobile everything.

  • Greg

    Yes! x1000000
    I am a Verizon customer, but I am affected by this also.
    I think people should have a choice of GSM carriers and CDMA carriers. If AT&T and T-Mobile merge it will leave only one major GSM/TDMA provider in the United States.
    Competition = Good for customers.

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    Regardless of all SPRINT BASHERS I support sprint and Dan Hesse for STANDING UP and trying to PREVENT THIS MERGER FROM TAKING PLACE. The time has come that people realize this situation for exactly what it really is…..ALL ABOUT SPECTRUM…NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS…At&t could care less about tmobile or there current customers they will do exactly what VERIZON HAS DONE THIS YEAR….RAISE PRICES UP THE YING YANG…Look at verizon with there SHINNY NEW LTE NETWORK instead of trying to get as many customers to support there network what do they do they decide to raise prices for there devices…250 thunderbolt…250 droid charge…300..Lg revolution…WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP then have the balls to data cap people and prevent tetthering as well ENOUGH IS ENOUGH FROM THESE BIG TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES….This merger WILL NOT HAPPEN YOU CAN MARK IT DOWN but if it did Mr. Hesse knows that sprint would benefit from tmobile becoming At&t because they would be the last man standing in the arena of AFFORDABILITY and in the real world that is all that matters affordabile prices for service WHICH TODAY DOES NOT EXIST ON AT&T OR VERIZON and all it will do if this merger happens is GET WORSE FOR ALL OF US. IMAGINE ONLY HAVING THE CHOICE OF AT&T, VERIZON, SPRINT and everyone else…..What good would that do….There is an old saying IF IT’S NOT BROKE LEAVE IT ALONE…Tmobile is MAKING VERIZON AND AT&T BOTH LOOK STUPID WITH THERE CURRENT ANDROID LINE UP AND THERE OVERALL SERVICE…I applaud Sprint and Dan Hesse at least someone is STANDING UP instead of SITTING DOWN….Sprint and Tmobile as well as all there device make Verizon and At&t look so USELESS It’s so funny….

  • http://Website Jack C

    I hope it doesn’t go through. It it does, it will be awful for competition, increase anti-competitive practices, and further encourage collusion by the major players.

  • http://Website Alphonso564

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for running this story.

    Nothing good will come of this acquisition . Had this takeover happen in 2008. We would not have the android phone we have today. What was AT$T first android phone? the backflip?
    If you check there our web page forum. There a lot of angry members wanting there updates. Is this what we have to look forward too? Over 25,000 people file at the FCC!!!

    Gigi Sohn from public knowledge made some really good points at the senate meeting. So much so I made a parody of the meeting on youtube.

    If you don’t want this buyout. Talk to everyone you know and let them know how bad this is.


  • http://Website William

    Please t- mobile don’t merge whit AT&T , AT&T. I’m very desapointed whit AT&T they charge wherever they want in their bills I never have that problem whit t- mobile for homos 9 years the reason why I change to AT&T was the Iphone but I ready to go back to t-mobile if de merge happen i’t like t- mobile it going vanish keep the nice work t- mobile don’t do it please……..

  • http://Website alphonso564

    I for one am for the merger and here’s why.

    I pay way too little at Tmobile and I need att to take more of my money. Making my wallet lighter.

    When I walk into a T-mobile store there want me to look at andordroid and there just to nice. But when I go into a att place they shove a iphony down my throat and kick me out the store. Just the way I like it.

    I want dropped calls. So I’ll miss my nagging wife calling me.

    When I call tmobile customer service. There just too helpful. I want att’s customer service to belittle and berate me then call me a idiot and hang up on me. Now that’s service

    It’s people like me that SHOULD not file!!!

    Moron j Stupid

  • http://Website kazahani

    The aquisition of T-mobile by AT&T would be improper. It would create a monopoly in the consumer GSM cellular market in North America. GSM is the only cellular telecom technology that has been widely adopted throughout the world, and many Americans are compelled to use this type of technology for that very reason. If this merger were allowed to go through, the only other nationwide telecom networks would run on CDMA technology, which is not in wide use outside the United States. Those of us who need our cellular phones to work everywhere we travel should not be limited in our wireless choices, and it is the FCC’s responsibility to protect us from facing the market monopoly situation that AT&T is proposing. T-mobile is a company with an excellent track record of customer satisfaction and value. They offer cellular plans that are affordable for a family like mine, and the porposed merger puts that at risk. It is a widely known fact that AT&T charges higher prices for their services. Please do not allow them to take away our choice to do business elsewhere!

    ^my petition

  • http://Website Verizon Blows

    If anyone thinks Verizon or ATT prices will get cheaper after this merger, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you….

  • http://Website Animegrltsukasa

    If at&t doesn’t buy t-mobile. t-mobile is just going to go bankrupt anyways. Deutsche telekom wants to get rid of t-mobile let them.

    • http://Website kazahani

      T-mobile bankraupt? Where are you getting this information? While it is true that growth has been stagnant for T-mobile(and everyone else) since the economic downturn, they remain a profitable company with a solid plan for the future. Also, if Duetch Telekom wants to sell their stake in T-mobile USA, then they can do that without handing control of the company over to a giant slobbering mess like AT&T.