Aug 31 AT 9:43 AM Anthony Domanico 87 Comments

Breaking: United States files Antitrust Complaint to block AT&T/T-Mobile deal

att-tmobile

Bloomberg is reporting that the United States Justice Department has filed court papers in Washington in an attempt to block the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Details are obviously few and far between on this story, but one thing is painfully clear: AT&T has their work cut out for them if they’re going to successfully acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telecom.

According to the report, the Justice Department states that “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.” The announcement comes just hours after AT&T promised that 5,000 jobs would be created from the deal.

This does not mean the deal will not go through in the long run, only that AT&T will certainly have a tougher time convincing the government to let this deal go through. If the deal doesn’t go through, AT&T will still have to shell out $3 billion to T-Mobile as a “breakup fee.”

Update: The full press release from the Department of Justice can be found here or by clicking the “show press release” button below.

Update 2: AT&T has emailed BGR the following response to the Department of Justice Antitrust suit. They are obviously not happy.

We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.

We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.

At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision and the facts are clear. This merger will:

  • Help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.
  • Allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;
  • Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.

We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court.Wayne WattsAt&t

Update 3: Not to be outdone by AT&T, Sprint has released a statement on this morning’s announcement as well (Thanks, Android Police):

The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers’ interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision — one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.SprintOfficial Statement

We’ll continue to update this story as more information leaks.

Show Press Release

Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit to Block AT&T’s Acquisition of T-Mobile
Transaction Would Reduce Competition in Mobile Wireless Telecommunications Services, Resulting in Higher Prices, Poorer Quality Services, Fewer Choices and Fewer Innovative Products for Millions of American Consumers

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice today filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc.   The department said that the proposed $39 billion transaction would substantially lessen competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services across the United States, resulting in higher prices, poorer quality services, fewer choices and fewer innovative products for the millions of American consumers who rely on mobile wireless services in their everyday lives.

The department’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks to prevent AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom AG.

“The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.   “Consumers across the country, including those in rural areas and those with lower incomes, benefit from competition among the nation’s wireless carriers, particularly the four remaining national carriers.   This lawsuit seeks to ensure that everyone can continue to receive the benefits of that competition.”

“T-Mobile has been an important source of competition among the national carriers, including through innovation and quality enhancements such as the roll-out of the first nationwide high-speed data network,” said Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.   “Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer.”

Mobile wireless telecommunications services play a critical role in the way Americans live and work, with more than 300 million feature phones, smart phones, data cards, tablets and other mobile wireless devices in service today.   Four nationwide providers of these services — AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon — account for more than 90 percent of mobile wireless connections.   The proposed acquisition would combine two of those four, eliminating from the market T-Mobile, a firm that historically has been a value provider, offering particularly aggressive pricing.

According to the complaint, AT&T and T-Mobile compete head to head nationwide, including in 97 of the nation’s largest 100 cellular marketing areas.   They also compete nationwide to attract business and government customers.  AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would eliminate a company that has been a disruptive force through low pricing and innovation by competing aggressively in the mobile wireless telecommunications services marketplace.

The complaint cites a T-Mobile document in which T-Mobile explains that it has been responsible for a number of significant “firsts” in the U.S. mobile wireless industry, including the first handset using the Android operating system, Blackberry wireless email, the Sidekick, national Wi-Fi “hotspot” access, and a variety of unlimited service plans.   T-Mobile was also the first company to roll out a nationwide high-speed data network based on advanced HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) technology.  The complaint states that by January 2011, an AT&T employee was observing that “[T-Mobile] was first to have HSPA+ devices in their portfolio…we added them in reaction to potential loss of speed claims.”

The complaint details other ways that AT&T felt competitive pressure from T-Mobile.   The complaint quotes T-Mobile documents describing the company’s important role in the market:

  • T-Mobile sees itself as “the No. 1 value challenger of the established big guys in the market and as well positioned in a consolidated 4-player national market”; and
  • T-Mobile’s strategy is to “attack incumbents and find innovative ways to overcome scale disadvantages.   [T-Mobile] will be faster, more agile, and scrappy, with diligence on decisions and costs both big and small.   Our approach to market will not be conventional, and we will push to the boundaries where possible. . . . [T-Mobile] will champion the customer and break down industry barriers with innovations. . . .”

The complaint also states that regional providers face significant competitive limitations, largely stemming from their lack of national networks, and are therefore limited in their ability to compete with the four national carriers.   And, the department said that any potential entry from a new mobile wireless telecommunications services provider would be unable to offset the transaction’s anticompetitive effects because it would be difficult, time-consuming and expensive, requiring spectrum licenses and the construction of a network.

The department said that it gave serious consideration to the efficiencies that the merging parties claim would result from the transaction.   The department concluded AT&T had not demonstrated that the proposed transaction promised any efficiencies that would be sufficient to outweigh the transaction’s substantial adverse impact on competition and consumers.  Moreover, the department said that AT&T could obtain substantially the same network enhancements that it claims will come from the transaction if it simply invested in its own network without eliminating a close competitor.

AT&T is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Dallas.   AT&T is one of the world’s largest providers of communications services, and is the second largest mobile wireless telecommunications services provider in the United States as measured by subscribers.   It serves approximately 98.6 million connections to wireless devices.   In 2010, AT&T earned mobile wireless telecommunications services revenues of $53.5 billion, and its total revenues were in excess of $124 billion.

T-Mobile, is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, Wash.   T-Mobile is the fourth-largest mobile wireless telecommunications services provider in the United States as measured by subscribers, and serves approximately 33.6 million wireless connections to wireless devices.  In 2010, T-Mobile earned mobile wireless telecommunications services revenues of $18.7 billion.   T-Mobile is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG.

Deutsche Telekom AG is a German corporation headquartered in Bonn, Germany.   It is the largest telecommunications operator in Europe with wireline and wireless interests in numerous countries and total annual revenues in 2010 of €62.4 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://www.mlswanson.com SparkyXI

    Giggity giggity GIG-GAH-TEE.

    • BiGMERF

      So what! One of the reasons I love this place.. Its very family like here. If I want swayed opinions I will go to the money hungry blogs

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      TROLLolololol?

      • http://www.mlswanson.com SparkyXI

        Troll-errr-rriffic. Too bad Engadget and Gizmodo are no longer relevant to their industry scope… think of them as MTV – No more videos (tech reporting), only commercial shit (linkfarm-a-gogo).

    • SphericalPuma

      Why is Kelly Clarkson commenting on Androidandme articles. Shouldn’t she be making terrible albums?

      /s

      • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

        ZING!

      • Mark

        It’s that Ben guy. You know. The iPhone fanboy. Such a loser.

        • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

          We’re starting the painfully annoying process of identifying IP addresses for banning. lol

  • BiGMERF

    This is great news!!!! If ATT does take over I am sure the DOJ will make sure there are many hurdles and compromises ATT will have to agree to ! I just hope the DOJ has the consumer and work force in mind when they propose such compromises

    • pu

      man get a life! you have too much time on your hands

      • BiGMERF

        yet you took the time to create and account and spam? who needs the life? you dont know me or my situation !Be productive ! Stop trying to be an internet thug, chump.

        • Xavier Plasencia

          i approve this last comment

  • Kimbo

    YAYYYYY!!!!!

  • http://blessayfromamerica.blogspot.com Guy Bailey

    YAY! Stop The Merger!

    I wondered where the President had left his balls…

    • Dave

      The DOJ reports to The President. The President is not the DOJ, the DOJ is not the President. Let’s not make this a political matter, okay?

  • agentdiscount

    Doesn’t the merger still feel like an inevitability? The penalty AT&T would give back to T-Mobile if the deal doesn’t go through seems pretty high.

    That being said, I am definitely hoping T-Mobile stays around. The more competition, the better for us consumers.

    • Garar

      Just saying, but T-Mobile could really use that penalty if the deal does fall through. And I harbor enough spite for Ma Bell that the idea of them getting tanked makes me happy.

  • codesplice

    The plot (like gravy) thickens.

    • Dustin Earley

      Favorite comment.

  • Vance

    huzzah!

  • jerrraldinho

    Probably not good if tmobile stays around they are doing the merger for a reason so they may not be able to stand on their own… Then again the money they receive from AT&T for a fall through would be a nice stimulus, maybe that was the plan the whole time

    • codesplice

      I get the impression a lot of people feel like big bad AT&T is the only one interested in this deal.

      T-Mobile is a part of the deal as well. If they didn’t want to be purchased by AT&T, then it wouldn’t even be an issue.

      • SphericalPuma

        The problem isn’t T-mobile, but it’s parent company Deutsche Telekom. If DT had actually put some money into T-Mobile, I don’t believe T-Mobile would have been in the position for an acquisition (let’s drop this notion of a “merger”). DT is only interested in it’s shareholders and the money they’d make from this deal, why else would they sit there and try to convince everyone that ATT and T-Mobile don’t compete with eachother when there was a whole T-Mobile commercial campaign against ATT?

      • Futureboy

        Sure, AT&T has been vilified, but it’s really not about the interest or intentions of the leaders of AT&T or T-Mobile. It’s really about the fact that 33+ million people will potentially be forced to move, against their will, from an affordable, android-friendly carrier to a carrier with a history of poor service and over-charging; a carrier who, thus far, has proven to be the least android-friendly carrier. And yes, people can certainly exercise their free will and move to a carrier other than AT&T, but when you consider price, service, and android-friendliness, it has been hard to beat T-Mobile. Therefore, it is definitely understandable that the pending forced relocation (despite who their new carrier will be) has raised some hostility toward “big bad AT&T” (“bad” being the operative word).

  • dethduck

    Finally, after months of every one in the industry repeating over and over the meme of “It’s pretty much a done deal.” At least some real justice can come from the DOJ.

    MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Remember, this is more a speedbump than a roadblock.

      We’ll see what happens.

      • http://txhoudini.com Eric Weiss

        While not a roadblock this is much more than a speedbump. This is another hurdle that needs to be overcome if the merger is to go through. This is an active move to prevent it from happening rather than being a passive suggestion that it shouldn’t happen.

        When the DOJ files a lawsuit in a merger case it is usually not looking for a verdict but is looking for a settlement that includes more concessions than what the two companies have offered.The question will be if AT&T/T-Mobile are willing to give more to Sprint and Verizon, the government, and/or subscribers.

        • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

          Yeah, I guess. But a hurdle doesn’t really fit in with the roadblock terminology. This isn’t a dealbreaker (roadblock), but more of something that slows the merger down (speedbump)

          • http://txhoudini.com Eric Weiss

            Ah! Gotcha… I’d go with a flat tire?

    • SphericalPuma

      I still have my doubts. ATT will make compromise after compromise, but the end result will be the same: T-Mobile will be acquired, workers will lose jobs, and everyone (ATT and T-Mobile) will pay higher prices. Don’t forget that ATT has to borrow the majority of the money that it’s going to take to complete this deal. Where do customers think that money is going to come from? From the shareholders’ pockets, lol? A year from now, when people are complaining about ATT’s ridiculous prices, everyone can thank our system of blank checks and balances.

      • dethduck

        Let them bring in more bidders. I’d love to see Google offer to buy them.

        • SphericalPuma

          I’d love to see carriers turn into “dumb pipes” and I hope one day that Google advances this movement.

          • dethduck

            Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

        • hldc1

          While I like the idea of Google getting into the mobile carrier game (many have opined on this for well over a year now), I don’t see this happening. While I like the purchase of Motorola (for patent reasons), there is the very real possibility that the support for the purchase we saw from the various manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, etc.) might turn into pure angst if Google bought T-Mobile. At that point, Google would have not just its own phone manufacturer, but also its own mobile network. Buying T-Mobile would almost surely lead to the abandonment of Android by a lot of manufacturers.

          The thought of a Google Mobile though. It’s still a sexy idea.

          • Chahk

            “Buying T-Mobile would almost surely lead to the abandonment of Android by a lot of manufacturers.”

            I don’t see why. In fact, it would probably have the exact opposite effect. Manufacturers have been at the mercy of carriers for the longest time. Believe me, nothing would please manufacturers more than a wedge in the door between them and the consumers, which is currently being closed pretty tightly by the carriers. Carriers’ brick-and-mortar stores are pretty much the only retail outlets most manufacturers have. When was the last time you saw a Motorola store, or a Nokia store? Now imagine if all T-Mobile stores overnight turned into Google stores, where manufacturers could sell their hardware free of carriers’ meddling.

            This is exactly why Apple stores are doing so well. I hate Apple’s legal department as much as the next guy, but you gotta give Jobs credit for disrupting the status quo. With iPhone’s success, Apple-the-manufacturer has been able to turn the relationship with the carrier upside down. They were dictating terms to AT&T in exchange for the exclusivity. That was unheard of in the mobile world, and was precisely the reason Verizon Wireless passed up the offer when Apple came to them first.

            No, I truly believe that Android manufacturers would welcome such an acquisition with open arms. That is if Google can keep it straight. We’ll see how they do with their Motorola Mobility purchase.

      • jerrraldinho

        It’s not that simple, a company can also gain money from issuing equity (stocks) and debt (bonds) and the tom deal is profitable so they will make money off of that as well. The money lent will be payed back over a few years… So prices won’t just skyrocket the day the deal goes through… Remember att purchased cellular one years back and cell one customers were able to keep their old plans

      • WaynesG2

        When was the last time a merger created more jobs than it cut? I’m sure that’s just an empty argument that AT&T thinks the people and DOJ want to hear. Then when all of these new jobs don’t happen, “Oops! We miscalculated the market” or something just as stupid. How does taking a competitor off the market good for competition? AT&T is so full of it. Hopefully DOJ will see through the BS and cancel this deal.

        • jlp

          Oh, I think AT&T is right on. 5,000 new AT&T jobs will be created. Of course, how many thousands of T-mobile jobs will be lost is unclear. How many people work for T-mobile now?

  • Ryan

    Imagine that… government sticking it’s nose in yet another area that it doesn’t belong and people are completely oblivious to it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      I think government does belong in anti-trust cases.

      • Ryan

        Anti-trust? This is the free-market working as it should… if one company wants to sell and the other wants to buy, so be it. We as consumers may hate the end result, but everyone moving to Verizon or Sprint will be a good indication that it was a bad idea and we the consumers are still free to choose what we want.

        The DoJ doesn’t belong in this business.

        • dethduck

          Let’s see, with the merger AT&T is the nations only GSM network. Lessens the competitors down to essentially them and Verizon, Sprint will be marginalized beyond belief. Fewer choices, higher rates.
          Yeah, this isn’t Anti-trust, it’s Free-Market.

          *sigh*

        • http://txhoudini.com Eric Weiss

          Actually the DOJ is part of the enforcement of antitrust laws. This is very much their business.

          The US is not a true free-market economy; there is legislation and intervention galore. Those laws and abilities of the government to intervene are there to (usually) protect the citizens. If they weren’t there we would have one airline, one oil company, etc.

        • hldc1

          You sir, are just not that smart.

          A hundred years of Department of Justice intervention in cases like this has done nothing to hamper the overall development of the United States economy. There is a reason why, even now, that the United States is considered to be the safest place to do business. No other country offers the transparency and the level of protection from our cherished rule of law that exists in the United States. Department of Justice intervention ensures the marketplace remains competitive, which in turn spurs innovation. It’s not very complicated.

          Then again, your post smells of AT&T employee. Mass thumbs down of your stinky comment is needed. Stat.

        • http://www.mlswanson.com SparkyXI

          “…we the consumers are still free to choose what we want.”

          This is why we have Antitrust laws – to allow and permit us the freedom to CHOOSE. The Gov. trying to block this merger is a clear indication that they are trying to protect our right to choose, and not be forced to ATT if we want GSM service.

          The way it is now, you have 2 choices within 2 choices: CDMA (VZW or Sprint) or GSM (ATT or TMob). If it were ATT, VZW, and Sprint, your choices would be CDMA (Verizon, Sprint), or GSM (ATT by default).

          • http://blessayfromamerica.blogspot.com GUy Bailey

            “Anti-trust? This is the free-market working as it should”

            In that case you will be delighted when we are let with one mobile provider and we all have to pay what they say. Free market working inevitably leads to a monopoly.

        • inviolable

          Education. Get some.

        • ihatefanboys

          do yourself a favor and google “microsoft anti trust” and educate yourself before you make another idiotic comment

    • Alex

      AT&T CEO post spotted

  • Drew

    …………………./´¯/)
    ………………..,/¯../
    ………………./…./
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯\
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ………\……………..’…../
    ……….”…\………. _.·´
    …………\…………..(
    …………..\………….\…

    SUCK IT AT&T

  • Apple fan

    I hope Apple is purchasing att and t-mo.
    Apple is much richer than these two.

    • dethduck

      Apple has nothing to do with this or even AT&T. Their iPhone exclusivity agreement with AT&T ended this year, which is why you have an iPhone on Verizon and one scheduled to come to Sprint.

      • AnonymousUser

        I certainly hope iPhone doesn’t come to Sprint!!!

        If it does, Apple would force Sprint to abandon their “Truly Unlimited” (data) plans, as we saw the same thing happen with Verizon’s unlimited data plans recently.

        Apple just has to have control over something to have their precious iPhone available to any carrier.

        To hell with that, Google & Android is better & does more anyway.

        • kazahani

          That comment doesn’t make sense. Verizon capped data because they have almost 100 million people using their network now, most of whom have decided in the last few years to get smartphones, and their network isn’t keeping up.

          It was just coincidence that they got iphone at roughly the same time. Apple had nothing to do with it.

    • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

      Don’t feed the trolls people!

  • JB

    I know this isn’t going to be a popular comment, but it’s worth pointing out how INSANE it is that the government can stop two private companies from entering into a private agreement and making private transactions. If ATT wants to buy Tmobile it’s none of the government’s business. If you don’t like it, pick another carrier.

    Anti-Trust laws are outdated like Union laws are outdated. The country’s Rockefellers are gone.

    What happened to freedom? Would all of you be as happy if the government were blocking Google’s business transactions? Probably not.

    • inviolable

      Man there is always someone complaining about anything the government does. If the government weren’t allowed to involve itself in an acquisition such as this, then tell me what WOULD they be allowed to review? Who would be able to stop it? Do we have that kind of power? Is there a vote I am not aware of? Your solution is to allow major corporations to eat up competition at will, just because they’re privately owned? We should have no protection as the consumers? Google’s acquisitions hardly compare to the specifics and the market of the at& t deal.

  • BiGMERF

    Doj put together a hell of a press release, and covered a lot of legitimate complaints.Love the following statements in the press release

    AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would eliminate a company that has been a disruptive force through low pricing and innovation by competing aggressively in the mobile wireless telecommunications services marketplace.

    “Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer.”

    BINGO

  • 78

    voicestream forever

  • Rey

    Thats Awesome news !!!

  • BiGMERF

    AT&T IS PISSEd!! LMAO!

  • thaghost

    Im amazed how tmobile and at&t responds so quickly to these stories but when the customers have issues (like g2x, captivate) you dont hear anything from them for months. So how am i supposed to believe that i will benefit from this merger?

    • AnonymousUser

      Because 2 slow @zz companies merged together makes them move (point>) .25% faster? lol

  • Tran Lang

    I don’t like the merger and not going to support it. I already plan to switch to Sprint or something else. I don’t trust the merger benefit the consumers at all. This is a good news.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I have said it before and will continue to say it THIS MERGER WILL NOT HAPPEN.. THANK GOD…

    • kazahani

      Gotta hand it to you Richard, I thought you were full of crap at the time, but you might turn out to be right all along…

      • Richard Yarrell

        This merger being denied is best for all of us and I applaud the stand of sprint and Mr. Dan Hesse. Tmobile and there customers deserve better.

  • http://www.dainbinder.com Dain Binder

    I am pleased with this decision. Although I am not a fan of government involvement in private business, the antitrust laws are one of the things that have proven effective when acted on in a educated good faith non-political way.

  • http://www.dainbinder.com Dain Binder

    I am pleased with this decision! Although I am not a fan of government involvement in private business, the antitrust laws are one of the things that have proven effective when acted on in a educated good faith non-political way.

    • Chahk

      When a private company receives as much state, local, and federal grants and tax breaks as AT&T, the government better watch them like hawks and regulate them within an inch of their lives.

  • Chahk

    You know who I’d totally support buying T-Mobile? Google! Or any other carrier for that matter, even a CDMA one.

    Come on GOOG, you know you want to be even more vertically integrated than Apple. Having their software stack running on their own hardware (Moto Mobility) through their own cell service? Hell yeah! I’d be all over that faster than Steve Ballmer can sing “developers.” I bet the line to sign up would stretch all the way from Mountain View to Cupertino.

  • AnonymousUser

    AT&T spent millions on advertising with their “Together with T-Mobile” campaign, trying to make them look so awesome to form the nations largest wireless network.

    And so far, they seemed to have… wait for it… FAILED!

    I mean, they could’ve spent those millions in their networks to improve them. lol

  • josef cosmas

    when was the last time I saw a Nokia store?
    just step out of the USA and into Europe, the Middle East, or Asia. They are ubiquitous.

    • Chahk

      AT&T is not buying T-Mobile in Europe, Middle East or Asia. In the U.S. cell phone manufacturers are truly at the mercy of carriers for distribution of their handsets to consumers. If the carriers don’t want your handset in their stores – you might as well kiss it good-bye, along with all the money and resources that went into developing and marketing it. If a carrier tells a manufacturer to neuter the hardware so that they can push a “new and improved” model next year – they do it without question, or face not being able to sell at all. Yeah, it’s that bad.

  • Nathan

    Yea!!! Plus one to the customers hehe :)

  • kazahani

    To all of the people who think that the DoJ is overreaching:

    I am normally on your side. I think the government always makes things worse. HOWEVER, this is a law enforcement issue and not a regulations issue. The DoJ filed a lawsuit in federal court, just like you or I could have done if we had money and lawyers. If we consumers didn’t like this merger, we could have filed the same lawsuit. Or if Sprint decided they needed to fight it, they could have done the same thing. There are already antitrust laws on the books, the DoJ is just enforcing them with a lawsuit. You can’t have the police arrest a business and put them in jail. This is how you enforce laws in our country.

    • kazahani

      That was tl;dr…

      My point is that if you have a problem, it should be with the antitrust laws, not the DoJ. They have to enforce the laws on the books.

  • Rashad

    This is great news! Its good to see that the government is looking out for us

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002275344855 luiek20

    Well this is awesome news! I just hope that $3,000,000,000 check is enough for T-mobile to stay here in the US and not try to sell again! I would never switch to AT&T even if they were the sole providers of future nexus devices!

  • kwills88

    As great as it would be if Google were to purchase t-mobile, i can’t see it happening, take the whole moto purchase, if Google were to buy t-mobile other carriers might feel as if Google will give t-mobile all the exclusive phones and faster updates..other carriers might not be too happy with that…though in a alternate universe i would love it if Google did buy or at least bail t-mo out if anything and make them a independent company from DT.

  • chris

    Yes!!!!!!

  • lorax1284

    In the “This merger will:” bullet points, there’s nothing about “allow us to be more competitive and offer lower prices to consumers”. Odd, that.

  • Roberto

    This is a great news…… Finally , DOJ came through. DOJ and FCC needs to do anything and everything to block this merger so that the competition can stay alive.

  • rhandy

    this is something good its time the government steps to protect us

  • rebekah

    if att buys tmobile i will cancel my contract att is the worst cell provider in the country and has the crappiest phones ever tmobile has built a very good reputation and has excellent service no matter what part of the country i am in also theyre phones are much better quality then the garbage att offers you att claims to have service everywhere but alot of people i know never have service or having problems with thier junk phones tmobile ahs built up a quality empire if they merge with att alot of people will be angry i would rather have a prepaid piece of crap then an att phone with there crpapy service!!

  • LadyDi

    On the heals of reading this post, IF this Merger does not go through… what will Ma/Pa DT do with the USA side of T-Mobile after this is all said and done? Will T-Mo still be the lowest competitive/best plan offering/semi great choices of Android phone offerings company it is right this very minute??

    • LadyDi

      HEELS (ooops)

  1. Giggity giggity GIG-GAH-TEE.

  2. This is great news!!!! If ATT does take over I am sure the DOJ will make sure there are many hurdles and compromises ATT will have to agree to ! I just hope the DOJ has the consumer and work force in mind when they propose such compromises

    • puGuest 4 years ago

      man get a life! you have too much time on your hands

      • yet you took the time to create and account and spam? who needs the life? you dont know me or my situation !Be productive ! Stop trying to be an internet thug, chump.

        • Xavier PlasenciaGuest 4 years ago

          i approve this last comment

  3. KimboGuest 4 years ago

    YAYYYYY!!!!!

  4. Guy BaileyGuest 4 years ago

    YAY! Stop The Merger!

    I wondered where the President had left his balls…

    • DaveGuest 4 years ago

      The DOJ reports to The President. The President is not the DOJ, the DOJ is not the President. Let’s not make this a political matter, okay?

  5. Doesn’t the merger still feel like an inevitability? The penalty AT&T would give back to T-Mobile if the deal doesn’t go through seems pretty high.

    That being said, I am definitely hoping T-Mobile stays around. The more competition, the better for us consumers.

    • Just saying, but T-Mobile could really use that penalty if the deal does fall through. And I harbor enough spite for Ma Bell that the idea of them getting tanked makes me happy.

  6. The plot (like gravy) thickens.

  7. Probably not good if tmobile stays around they are doing the merger for a reason so they may not be able to stand on their own… Then again the money they receive from AT&T for a fall through would be a nice stimulus, maybe that was the plan the whole time

    • I get the impression a lot of people feel like big bad AT&T is the only one interested in this deal.

      T-Mobile is a part of the deal as well. If they didn’t want to be purchased by AT&T, then it wouldn’t even be an issue.

      • The problem isn’t T-mobile, but it’s parent company Deutsche Telekom. If DT had actually put some money into T-Mobile, I don’t believe T-Mobile would have been in the position for an acquisition (let’s drop this notion of a “merger”). DT is only interested in it’s shareholders and the money they’d make from this deal, why else would they sit there and try to convince everyone that ATT and T-Mobile don’t compete with eachother when there was a whole T-Mobile commercial campaign against ATT?

      • Sure, AT&T has been vilified, but it’s really not about the interest or intentions of the leaders of AT&T or T-Mobile. It’s really about the fact that 33+ million people will potentially be forced to move, against their will, from an affordable, android-friendly carrier to a carrier with a history of poor service and over-charging; a carrier who, thus far, has proven to be the least android-friendly carrier. And yes, people can certainly exercise their free will and move to a carrier other than AT&T, but when you consider price, service, and android-friendliness, it has been hard to beat T-Mobile. Therefore, it is definitely understandable that the pending forced relocation (despite who their new carrier will be) has raised some hostility toward “big bad AT&T” (“bad” being the operative word).

  8. dethduckGuest 4 years ago

    Finally, after months of every one in the industry repeating over and over the meme of “It’s pretty much a done deal.” At least some real justice can come from the DOJ.

    MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    • Remember, this is more a speedbump than a roadblock.

      We’ll see what happens.

      • While not a roadblock this is much more than a speedbump. This is another hurdle that needs to be overcome if the merger is to go through. This is an active move to prevent it from happening rather than being a passive suggestion that it shouldn’t happen.

        When the DOJ files a lawsuit in a merger case it is usually not looking for a verdict but is looking for a settlement that includes more concessions than what the two companies have offered.The question will be if AT&T/T-Mobile are willing to give more to Sprint and Verizon, the government, and/or subscribers.

        • Yeah, I guess. But a hurdle doesn’t really fit in with the roadblock terminology. This isn’t a dealbreaker (roadblock), but more of something that slows the merger down (speedbump)

    • I still have my doubts. ATT will make compromise after compromise, but the end result will be the same: T-Mobile will be acquired, workers will lose jobs, and everyone (ATT and T-Mobile) will pay higher prices. Don’t forget that ATT has to borrow the majority of the money that it’s going to take to complete this deal. Where do customers think that money is going to come from? From the shareholders’ pockets, lol? A year from now, when people are complaining about ATT’s ridiculous prices, everyone can thank our system of blank checks and balances.

      • dethduckGuest 4 years ago

        Let them bring in more bidders. I’d love to see Google offer to buy them.

        • I’d love to see carriers turn into “dumb pipes” and I hope one day that Google advances this movement.

          • dethduckGuest 4 years ago

            Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

        • hldc1Guest 4 years ago

          While I like the idea of Google getting into the mobile carrier game (many have opined on this for well over a year now), I don’t see this happening. While I like the purchase of Motorola (for patent reasons), there is the very real possibility that the support for the purchase we saw from the various manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, etc.) might turn into pure angst if Google bought T-Mobile. At that point, Google would have not just its own phone manufacturer, but also its own mobile network. Buying T-Mobile would almost surely lead to the abandonment of Android by a lot of manufacturers.

          The thought of a Google Mobile though. It’s still a sexy idea.

          • ChahkGuest 4 years ago

            “Buying T-Mobile would almost surely lead to the abandonment of Android by a lot of manufacturers.”

            I don’t see why. In fact, it would probably have the exact opposite effect. Manufacturers have been at the mercy of carriers for the longest time. Believe me, nothing would please manufacturers more than a wedge in the door between them and the consumers, which is currently being closed pretty tightly by the carriers. Carriers’ brick-and-mortar stores are pretty much the only retail outlets most manufacturers have. When was the last time you saw a Motorola store, or a Nokia store? Now imagine if all T-Mobile stores overnight turned into Google stores, where manufacturers could sell their hardware free of carriers’ meddling.

            This is exactly why Apple stores are doing so well. I hate Apple’s legal department as much as the next guy, but you gotta give Jobs credit for disrupting the status quo. With iPhone’s success, Apple-the-manufacturer has been able to turn the relationship with the carrier upside down. They were dictating terms to AT&T in exchange for the exclusivity. That was unheard of in the mobile world, and was precisely the reason Verizon Wireless passed up the offer when Apple came to them first.

            No, I truly believe that Android manufacturers would welcome such an acquisition with open arms. That is if Google can keep it straight. We’ll see how they do with their Motorola Mobility purchase.

      • It’s not that simple, a company can also gain money from issuing equity (stocks) and debt (bonds) and the tom deal is profitable so they will make money off of that as well. The money lent will be payed back over a few years… So prices won’t just skyrocket the day the deal goes through… Remember att purchased cellular one years back and cell one customers were able to keep their old plans

      • WaynesG2Guest 4 years ago

        When was the last time a merger created more jobs than it cut? I’m sure that’s just an empty argument that AT&T thinks the people and DOJ want to hear. Then when all of these new jobs don’t happen, “Oops! We miscalculated the market” or something just as stupid. How does taking a competitor off the market good for competition? AT&T is so full of it. Hopefully DOJ will see through the BS and cancel this deal.

        • jlpGuest 4 years ago

          Oh, I think AT&T is right on. 5,000 new AT&T jobs will be created. Of course, how many thousands of T-mobile jobs will be lost is unclear. How many people work for T-mobile now?

  9. RyanGuest 4 years ago

    Imagine that… government sticking it’s nose in yet another area that it doesn’t belong and people are completely oblivious to it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…

    • I think government does belong in anti-trust cases.

      • RyanGuest 4 years ago

        Anti-trust? This is the free-market working as it should… if one company wants to sell and the other wants to buy, so be it. We as consumers may hate the end result, but everyone moving to Verizon or Sprint will be a good indication that it was a bad idea and we the consumers are still free to choose what we want.

        The DoJ doesn’t belong in this business.

        • dethduckGuest 4 years ago

          Let’s see, with the merger AT&T is the nations only GSM network. Lessens the competitors down to essentially them and Verizon, Sprint will be marginalized beyond belief. Fewer choices, higher rates.
          Yeah, this isn’t Anti-trust, it’s Free-Market.

          *sigh*

        • Actually the DOJ is part of the enforcement of antitrust laws. This is very much their business.

          The US is not a true free-market economy; there is legislation and intervention galore. Those laws and abilities of the government to intervene are there to (usually) protect the citizens. If they weren’t there we would have one airline, one oil company, etc.

        • hldc1Guest 4 years ago

          You sir, are just not that smart.

          A hundred years of Department of Justice intervention in cases like this has done nothing to hamper the overall development of the United States economy. There is a reason why, even now, that the United States is considered to be the safest place to do business. No other country offers the transparency and the level of protection from our cherished rule of law that exists in the United States. Department of Justice intervention ensures the marketplace remains competitive, which in turn spurs innovation. It’s not very complicated.

          Then again, your post smells of AT&T employee. Mass thumbs down of your stinky comment is needed. Stat.

        • “…we the consumers are still free to choose what we want.”

          This is why we have Antitrust laws – to allow and permit us the freedom to CHOOSE. The Gov. trying to block this merger is a clear indication that they are trying to protect our right to choose, and not be forced to ATT if we want GSM service.

          The way it is now, you have 2 choices within 2 choices: CDMA (VZW or Sprint) or GSM (ATT or TMob). If it were ATT, VZW, and Sprint, your choices would be CDMA (Verizon, Sprint), or GSM (ATT by default).

          • GUy BaileyGuest 4 years ago

            “Anti-trust? This is the free-market working as it should”

            In that case you will be delighted when we are let with one mobile provider and we all have to pay what they say. Free market working inevitably leads to a monopoly.

        • Education. Get some.

        • ihatefanboysGuest 4 years ago

          do yourself a favor and google “microsoft anti trust” and educate yourself before you make another idiotic comment

    • AlexGuest 4 years ago

      AT&T CEO post spotted

  10. …………………./´¯/)
    ………………..,/¯../
    ………………./…./
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯\
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ………\……………..’…../
    ……….”…\………. _.·´
    …………\…………..(
    …………..\………….\…

    SUCK IT AT&T

  11. Apple fanGuest 4 years ago

    I hope Apple is purchasing att and t-mo.
    Apple is much richer than these two.

    • Apple has nothing to do with this or even AT&T. Their iPhone exclusivity agreement with AT&T ended this year, which is why you have an iPhone on Verizon and one scheduled to come to Sprint.

      • I certainly hope iPhone doesn’t come to Sprint!!!

        If it does, Apple would force Sprint to abandon their “Truly Unlimited” (data) plans, as we saw the same thing happen with Verizon’s unlimited data plans recently.

        Apple just has to have control over something to have their precious iPhone available to any carrier.

        To hell with that, Google & Android is better & does more anyway.

        • That comment doesn’t make sense. Verizon capped data because they have almost 100 million people using their network now, most of whom have decided in the last few years to get smartphones, and their network isn’t keeping up.

          It was just coincidence that they got iphone at roughly the same time. Apple had nothing to do with it.

    • Don’t feed the trolls people!

  12. JBGuest 4 years ago

    I know this isn’t going to be a popular comment, but it’s worth pointing out how INSANE it is that the government can stop two private companies from entering into a private agreement and making private transactions. If ATT wants to buy Tmobile it’s none of the government’s business. If you don’t like it, pick another carrier.

    Anti-Trust laws are outdated like Union laws are outdated. The country’s Rockefellers are gone.

    What happened to freedom? Would all of you be as happy if the government were blocking Google’s business transactions? Probably not.

    • Man there is always someone complaining about anything the government does. If the government weren’t allowed to involve itself in an acquisition such as this, then tell me what WOULD they be allowed to review? Who would be able to stop it? Do we have that kind of power? Is there a vote I am not aware of? Your solution is to allow major corporations to eat up competition at will, just because they’re privately owned? We should have no protection as the consumers? Google’s acquisitions hardly compare to the specifics and the market of the at& t deal.

  13. Doj put together a hell of a press release, and covered a lot of legitimate complaints.Love the following statements in the press release

    AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would eliminate a company that has been a disruptive force through low pricing and innovation by competing aggressively in the mobile wireless telecommunications services marketplace.

    “Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer.”

    BINGO

  14. 78Guest 4 years ago

    voicestream forever

  15. ReyGuest 4 years ago

    Thats Awesome news !!!

  16. AT&T IS PISSEd!! LMAO!

  17. Im amazed how tmobile and at&t responds so quickly to these stories but when the customers have issues (like g2x, captivate) you dont hear anything from them for months. So how am i supposed to believe that i will benefit from this merger?

  18. I don’t like the merger and not going to support it. I already plan to switch to Sprint or something else. I don’t trust the merger benefit the consumers at all. This is a good news.

  19. Richard YarrellGuest 4 years ago

    I have said it before and will continue to say it THIS MERGER WILL NOT HAPPEN.. THANK GOD…

    • Gotta hand it to you Richard, I thought you were full of crap at the time, but you might turn out to be right all along…

      • Richard YarrellGuest 4 years ago

        This merger being denied is best for all of us and I applaud the stand of sprint and Mr. Dan Hesse. Tmobile and there customers deserve better.

  20. Dain BinderGuest 4 years ago

    I am pleased with this decision. Although I am not a fan of government involvement in private business, the antitrust laws are one of the things that have proven effective when acted on in a educated good faith non-political way.

  21. I am pleased with this decision! Although I am not a fan of government involvement in private business, the antitrust laws are one of the things that have proven effective when acted on in a educated good faith non-political way.

    • ChahkGuest 4 years ago

      When a private company receives as much state, local, and federal grants and tax breaks as AT&T, the government better watch them like hawks and regulate them within an inch of their lives.

  22. ChahkGuest 4 years ago

    You know who I’d totally support buying T-Mobile? Google! Or any other carrier for that matter, even a CDMA one.

    Come on GOOG, you know you want to be even more vertically integrated than Apple. Having their software stack running on their own hardware (Moto Mobility) through their own cell service? Hell yeah! I’d be all over that faster than Steve Ballmer can sing “developers.” I bet the line to sign up would stretch all the way from Mountain View to Cupertino.

  23. AT&T spent millions on advertising with their “Together with T-Mobile” campaign, trying to make them look so awesome to form the nations largest wireless network.

    And so far, they seemed to have… wait for it… FAILED!

    I mean, they could’ve spent those millions in their networks to improve them. lol

  24. josef cosmasGuest 4 years ago

    when was the last time I saw a Nokia store?
    just step out of the USA and into Europe, the Middle East, or Asia. They are ubiquitous.

    • ChahkGuest 4 years ago

      AT&T is not buying T-Mobile in Europe, Middle East or Asia. In the U.S. cell phone manufacturers are truly at the mercy of carriers for distribution of their handsets to consumers. If the carriers don’t want your handset in their stores – you might as well kiss it good-bye, along with all the money and resources that went into developing and marketing it. If a carrier tells a manufacturer to neuter the hardware so that they can push a “new and improved” model next year – they do it without question, or face not being able to sell at all. Yeah, it’s that bad.

  25. Yea!!! Plus one to the customers hehe :)

  26. To all of the people who think that the DoJ is overreaching:

    I am normally on your side. I think the government always makes things worse. HOWEVER, this is a law enforcement issue and not a regulations issue. The DoJ filed a lawsuit in federal court, just like you or I could have done if we had money and lawyers. If we consumers didn’t like this merger, we could have filed the same lawsuit. Or if Sprint decided they needed to fight it, they could have done the same thing. There are already antitrust laws on the books, the DoJ is just enforcing them with a lawsuit. You can’t have the police arrest a business and put them in jail. This is how you enforce laws in our country.

    • That was tl;dr…

      My point is that if you have a problem, it should be with the antitrust laws, not the DoJ. They have to enforce the laws on the books.

  27. This is great news! Its good to see that the government is looking out for us

  28. Well this is awesome news! I just hope that $3,000,000,000 check is enough for T-mobile to stay here in the US and not try to sell again! I would never switch to AT&T even if they were the sole providers of future nexus devices!

  29. As great as it would be if Google were to purchase t-mobile, i can’t see it happening, take the whole moto purchase, if Google were to buy t-mobile other carriers might feel as if Google will give t-mobile all the exclusive phones and faster updates..other carriers might not be too happy with that…though in a alternate universe i would love it if Google did buy or at least bail t-mo out if anything and make them a independent company from DT.

  30. chrisGuest 4 years ago

    Yes!!!!!!

  31. lorax1284Guest 4 years ago

    In the “This merger will:” bullet points, there’s nothing about “allow us to be more competitive and offer lower prices to consumers”. Odd, that.

  32. RobertoGuest 4 years ago

    This is a great news…… Finally , DOJ came through. DOJ and FCC needs to do anything and everything to block this merger so that the competition can stay alive.

  33. rhandyGuest 4 years ago

    this is something good its time the government steps to protect us

  34. rebekahGuest 4 years ago

    if att buys tmobile i will cancel my contract att is the worst cell provider in the country and has the crappiest phones ever tmobile has built a very good reputation and has excellent service no matter what part of the country i am in also theyre phones are much better quality then the garbage att offers you att claims to have service everywhere but alot of people i know never have service or having problems with thier junk phones tmobile ahs built up a quality empire if they merge with att alot of people will be angry i would rather have a prepaid piece of crap then an att phone with there crpapy service!!

  35. On the heals of reading this post, IF this Merger does not go through… what will Ma/Pa DT do with the USA side of T-Mobile after this is all said and done? Will T-Mo still be the lowest competitive/best plan offering/semi great choices of Android phone offerings company it is right this very minute??