image courtesy ctrlZstudio
The FCC chariman today recommended the $39 billion merger of AT&T and T-Mobile be sent for an official review by an administrative law judge. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski suggested this course of action to fellow commissioners, citing that the FCC found the deal "would significantly diminish competition and lead to massive job losses." Genachowski's order still requires the approval of a majority of the commissioners, and if approved would extend the review of the merger beyond AT&T's hopes to have things all wrapped-up at the FCC early in 2012. Of course, AT&T is none too happy, stating:
"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 US economy desperately needs both."
If you'll allow a bit of editorial comment, I'm a happy T-Mobile customer. I don't want to change anything about my service from T-Mobile, and am concerned that I will lose the legendary customer support T-Mobile offers, as well as gaining an additional $100 or so attached to my monthly bill. I'm also concerned that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company no longer wants to retain control of the small U.S. carrier because of the huge financial drain that comes with. I worry what will happen either way -- having AT&T as my carrier is my rock, and having DT let T-Mobile die is my hard place, and I'm smack dab in the middle. Either case has me getting cell service from AT&T, unless the government has a contingency plan for T-Mobile should the merger fail to pass. Hopefully, the fellows in Washington have a plan to serve the consumer's best interests, but I'm skeptical. Unless another company like Google or Apple steps in and buys T-Mobile, our future looks shaky either way. For now, I, and 33 million others, just have to wait and see.