doj

Back in March, AT&T announced their plan to acquire T-Mobile USA, which spurred vehement opposition. Dan Hesse, the CEO of Sprint, didn't hesitate to let everyone know he thought it was a terrible idea. T-Mobile customers voiced their concerns, which stemmed from their dislike of AT&T. Well, T-Mobile customers and Hesse may have just gained a huge ally, as the US Department of Justice has filed court papers blocking the merger.

In its filing, the DOJ said, "AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market." If the deal falls through, AT&T faces paying T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom a $3 billion break-up fee.

Update: AT&T has responded to the DOJ's filing, expressing "surprise and disappointment" --

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.

Source: BloombergThanks to everyone who sent this in!

 

Reader comments

US Department of Justice files motion opposing AT&T/T-Mobile merger (update: AT&T responds)

137 Comments

I stand corrected... lol :) I wish they would just magically stop, you see them everywhere now...

All kidding aside, I am just happy that the DoJ stepped in. Now it's up to the FCC. Hopefully they too will realize that this merger is a bad idea for the consumer.

If the Government is gonna step in and take action against carriers, they should go the whole 9 yards and also put a stop to all the nickel and diming these carriers do to their customers. The whole data tiered/throttling packages implemented are getting ridiculous.

the tiered data plans won't last forever, no way they can.

im glad the government is stepping in, looks as this takeover won't happen. they should stay separate entities, i hate at&t.

They understand the definition just fine.. Unlimited amounts of our money in their pockets...

We still have to see if this works, I certainly hope it does, but money in politics has awesome power, I wouldn't assume AT&T is down now.
As far as legislating tiered/throttled data connections that's probably a nonstarter, your best bet is to hold onto a grandfathered unlimited plan while you still can, I've got one with Verizon and I'm not changing anything in my plan that would cause me to lose it.

You have a right to a lot of things, but cheap cell phone service isn't one of them. If you don't like what the carriers are doing, vote with your wallet. The Government has no business regulating private enterprise in that way.

Yeah, because deregulation has done the airline's really well. Same as it has done for banking and Wall Street. As more and more people are getting information over the Internet it shouldn't just be rich people that have that option. That is something the government should protect access to information. PS, I'm on Verizon so I'm used to paying too much, doesn't mean everyone else should.

@boo well said partner I am totally with you.things have to be regulated or these private company's will eat the consumer alive.

Actualy deregulating the airlines has been nothing but great for the consumer. Go back and look at the industry before deregulation. Better pricing, more choice. There are almost no cases where government regulation works in favor of consumers.

The mobile carrier business is hardly a private enterprise. I'm a full-fledged Tea Party member, but I also realize that the FCC rules the means of production for anything wireless. Thus they are already picking winners and losers by virtue of bandwidth auctions and onerous regulations. It's not like you can run out and start a cell company tomorrow (see LightSquared).

I didn't like what AT&T was doing, so I did vote with my wallet, (like many other people I'm sure) I switched to T-Mobile.

Now AT&T wants to take that option away from me by buying it up. It wants to consolidate the market, and make it less competitive. That goes against the principles that make merkets work well. You can't be a capitalist and justify your existence on the premise that competition produces the best outcomes, and then act to remove your competition from the market in which you do business.

They should be leveraging their resources and innovation (though they certainly lack innovation) against their competitors, not against consumers by buying up all of their competition so that we're stuck with them.

I'm very pleased to see the DoJ protecting our markets so that they can continue to produce optimal results. ..even if AT&T's profits will suffer due to their lack of innovation and competence.

AT&T has always been anti-competition, they've been broken up before, they couldn't compete as carriers, so they purchased a monopoly over the iPhone innovation by Apple. Now they want to purchase a virtual monopoly or at least render an oligopoly in the cell-phone carrier service.

Sure, we should vote with our wallets, but the only thing that can limit the power of AT&T's money, is the power of law, to ensure a competitive marketplace where we actually CAN vote with our wallets. :P

I agree they have the tech and power to keep up with our data usage demands they just want to screw us out of as much money as they can. Thank God I don't have that problem with Sprint.

Wow I would have thought ATT / Tmobil already bribed or blackmailed everyone they needed to. Nice to see there are still some officials interested in doing their jobs of protecting the public.

if this would of happened and no one stopped it then verizon could easily takeover sprint too. it would be a monopoly and wouldn't be fair to the consumer.

Two companies, is a duopoly, not a monopoly. Almost as bad but not quite. I share your sentiment that only two companies would be very bad.

True that two companies is a duopoly, but each company would monopolize their respective cellular technology (AT&T for GSM and Verizon for CDMA).

In fact, AT&T would be a monopoly in and of itself because it would be the only GSM provider--the only one of any significance in the U.S. market anyway.

True, but that's an artificial segregation, except for a few geeks like people on this site, most people with cell service don't know what GSM or CDMA mean, much less which type of phone their service uses, AT&T and Verizon still directly compete with each other, so it's not a real monopoly

Nothing artificial about it if you're a GSM user and travel. Your average non-geek may not know about GSM vs CDMA, but they do know what a world phone is.

Given the choice between paying more to Verizon (they offer a very limited selection of world phones) and AT&T, or less to T-Mobile, if you're a GSM user and need a world phone, the cheapest option is T-Mobile.

Bottom line is AT&T would monopolize the GSM market in the U.S. and that would be a BAD thing for consumers. T-Mobile and Sprint keep AT&T and Verizon "grounded" so they don't gouge consumers. Take one away and the market becomes unbalanced and consumers get raped by the monopolizing companies.

I wasn't arguing that losing T-mobile wouldn't be bad for competition, but Verizon offers some models of world phones as well, so while they may not be as good as a deal for specific world travelers as AT&T and T-mo, they still compete with them in all of the same markets and at the end of the day AT&T,Sprint,Verizon and for the moment T-mo still fight for the same customer base. It's a semantic argument, I'm definitely not arguing for the merger

I second that. It seems like most of the time, anything that should happen just simply doesn't. Maybe this time we'll have an exception to the rule. DOJ.... +1

Is the government going to step in and prevent t-mobile bankruptcy?

There is a reason they were willing to sell the company in the first place. When they can't meet their debts or payroll will they show up in Washington with their hands out and point to this DOJ action as justification for a government bailout?

Had to be that guy didn't you?

Who's going to show up with their hands out? The company execs with a mansion in every state who flew to washington in their private jets? "Bankruptcy" is a term thrown around a little loosely these days... If a corporation is in financial distress.. take a look at where all the money has gone and ask if it should have been better spent than on gold-plating the VP's jacuzzi..

You're one to talk about being "that" guy....

Fact of the matter is that these people with the private jets are the ones who employ people in this country and drive the economy.

Ah yes they have clearly been doing a great job of employing people and driving the economy lately... Wait no, no they haven't.

It needn't be the case that organizations divert such a large portion of their resources to executives, it just is the case, and it hurts organizations.. and then when they run out of resources, executives point to other factors as causing a firm to be broke. "My enormous salary is a given, whether this company will survive is not known. The success of this company depends upon political and economic malfeasance."

If your firm's existence and prosperity is predicated upon political and economic malfeasance, if that's really the best an executive can do, then an enormous salary is not merited/justified.

T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) gets $3 Billion if the deal does not go through, so they should be fine on their own for some time with that influx of cash.

don't worry T-Mobile will be just fine. With all those amazing phones and great deals that they have now oh and don't forget lte. So they will get out of the hole.

This is one of the most anti-business Dept. of Justice in decades so this isn't a surprising move. It's actually one of the few moves the DoJ has done lately that I agree with. Now if they would leave Gibson Guitars alone...

Anti-business is fine by me. No where in the constitution does it say that corporations deserve the same protections as actual people. The Government works for us, not them. I can only see this as a pro-CONSUMER move.

your apparent definition of it? Yes. The government broke up Ma Bell back in the 70s, and what happened? Long distance rates plummeted. Competition is GOOD!

You seem to be confusing anti-business with anarchy. I don't see how seizing $1 million worth of assets for Gibson guitars is good for anyone. It creates an atmosphere of fear. There are plenty of good regulations, but there's an endless list of bad ones.

If by anti-business you mean pro-consumer, pro-citizen, then I agree. The government doesn't exist for the money grubbing lying cheating telecomm industry. It exists for the people, check the Declaration of Independence.

AT&T can rot in hell.

most of you are so funny to me and are truely ignorant jacka$$es! your only reson for opposing the merger is that you dont like at&t. get a freaking life!!!! Wah wah! i dont like at&t dont let them merge! if you want to oppose the merger have some valid damn reasons!!!!!!

give reasons for what! i dont oppose the merger! i dont own tmobile nor do i own at&t so nothing on gods green earth gives me or anyone else the right to tell either one what they can and cant do with their companies!!! Tmobile is struggling in the US and obviously they dont want to have operations in the US anymore so they should be able to sell to whoever the hell they want! next thing you guys will be telling me that your neighbors shouldnt be able to sell their homes to who they want!!!

The difference is their home isn't a regulated market of a few companies, when you enter into a regulated market you agree to certain conditions and one of them is surprise, regulations about what you can do with your business, because the government is responsible for preserving competition and making sure the customers get a fair shake in a market with very little competition due to the complexity and cost of entering the market.

Why does pro-business conservatives always dumb down the arguement, stop the analogies lets talk about the real world wireless world.

In the real wireless world T-Mobile will now go out of business in 3-5 years and we'll still be left with two major carriers. When will you liberals EVER learn...? It's no wonder the economy is in the shape it's is and getting WORSE.

1st off its better that way cause then,as you can see tmobile does everything it can to stay alive and from what I am seeing they are doing better since word of the merger.due to there change in strategy and acquisition of superior phones.So me playing Bloomberg right now say they will not go out of buisness and do better than anticipated.

Yeah because the economy sucks because of these cell companies. You are clueless. If at&t gets tmo then they can jack up the prices and here let me spell this out for you. Higher prices= less money consumers have to spend so that isn't going to help the economy any. Not to mention the # of jobs that would be lost through this merger will be more than those created if the merger went through. And I am no liberal it is common sense why people are against it.

T-Mobile isn't going out of business. They're actually investing in increased market share with penetration pricing; and they're winning that market share.

All the regulations in the world won't keep t-mobile from bankruptcy. It's a nice little controlled and regulated world you live in, are you sure you wouldn't be happier with an iphone?

T-mobile isn't that close to bankruptcy, the germans investors just aren't happy with the rate of return their getting and they have options.
Sell the network to sprint, a merger that most would rather approve.
Join with lightsquared and get on the true 4G network, t-mobile could be turned around.
Just because the economy is bad doesn't mean we should let all companies do what they want in regulated sectors. Deregulation is why this economy is where it is. Deregulation has already failed us.
So I'll continue sports my android phone, I'm not some liberal who has no idea of what's behind they politics they support, and in most cases I find conservative arguments much more faulty, you've been arguing for deregulation and trickle down economics for 25 years and it's failed us time and time again.

@fiveizzo .. they can't.. i won't have just anyone moving next door to me. it may be some clueless bafoon that actually believes that a merger like this won't have us all paying $250 per line because they can crap on us with hefty data package prices .. And the DOJ does have the rite to look out for the consumer . But if that wasn't their reason for putting a halt to this well at least it works for us in this instance. And it's not just because we don't like att .. It's because they're evil. haha.

My reason is that it the merger would reduce competition in an industry where consumer choice is already getting smaller and smaller. I don't care if it was ATT, Verizon, or whoever doing the proposed merger... Without healthy competition between a large number of competitors the only loser is the consumer.

Yep. Because AT&T won't have it's customers and spectrum. Perhaps a new player can buy in.

Anything that hurts AT&T is a good thing. They are the MF anti-Christ.

Drop the bankruptcy argument that is obviously your only claim for the need of this nasty merger. The German mother-company Deutsch Telekomm won't let Tmo USA fall.

It'd be funny if this merger didn't happen and T-Mobile went bankrupt right in the middle of your contract. You'd have to settle for another company and make a contract and pay a bunch of membership starter fees.

We have reasons, like stop innovation and competition in a market with only 3 or possibly 2 carriers

The lower competition will pave the way for wireless prices to go up.
T-mobile has historically been the budget, nationwide carrier that keeps the market in check.

The fact that AT&T has the most wireless spectrum of any wireless carrier, Verizon doesn't seem to need any and they are deploying LTE perfectly well and they have less spectrum
They don't need t-mobile's spectrum It's just a way to shore up more spectrum that AT&T historically just sits on and doesn't use to stop
competition. AT&T has the least reliable network and the most spectrum, because all they do is look for short term profits to appease their investors.

I'm not even a t-mobile or AT&T subscriber, I'm on Verizon but theirs tons of reasons to oppose this merger, balls in your court
why do you support it?

Because without the merger t-mobile goes bankrupt, in which case all your other arguments mean nothing.

T-mobile isn't that close to bankruptcy, the germans investors just aren't happy with the rate of return their getting and they have options.
Sell the network to sprint, a merger that most would rather approve.
Join with lightsquared and get on the true 4G network, t-mobile could be turned around.
Just because the economy is bad doesn't mean we should let all companies do what they want in regulated sectors. Deregulation is why this economy is where it is. Deregulation has already failed us.

Conservative views on Business 101

90's - times are good we need to deregulate as many sectors as possible to continue this economic growth.
2008 - well we just have a huge crash (Thanks deregulation), we need to deregulate further because this time it will fix everything.

and deregulation and tax cuts are the solution.

Sprint hinted at being interested in buying Tmo... that would actually be a much better deal than AT&T, cause Sprint could use it to compete more fairly, though it's different type of network :P but still.

I oppose because it would limit my choices. It would allow AT&T and Verizon to control around 3/4 of the current wireless market. I like choice!!!!!!

You all do realize this doesn't stop the merger. It simply means at&t will needed to negotiate concessions, which they will. As soon as they negotiate those concessions and the doj agrees, merger will continue. Want to know a secret? I bet at&t execs already expected this to happen. They've invested way too much in this merger to just throw up their hands and quit.

For the record, there's still plenty of competition out there. Even if you don't like at&t, there's other choices. The poster who mentioned voicing your opinion with your wallet has it right on.

Unfortunately your right about the chances of merger, I don't expect the merger to be stopped either, but I wish it was for reasons I've already posted in other comments to this thread.

But your comment about voting with your wallet doesn't hold much water, if you need nationwide coverage, you've got 4 major choices
Verizon,AT&T,T-mobile,Sprint.
If AT&T buys T-mobile verizon could get away easily with buying sprint.

Then you've got two nationwide carriers that have historically practically mirrored each other's pricing, no competition there.

With AT&T as a competitor, Verizon could definitely relax it's ambitious upgrades to keep ahead of all the competitors, because AT&T would spend $0 on network infrastructure if it could get away with it.

Possible end result, I don't claim this would definitely happen, higher prices, no movement on pricing structure, we'd probably be stuck with $30/month for 2GB forever, and deteriorating networks, which would stiffle investment in smartphone apps due to the piss poor networks in America

If the DOJ has resorted to filing a brief against the merger, it is likely they feel that no amount of concessions by ATT will outweigh the blow to competition in the market. Food for thought : the FCC has never before approved a merger in which the DOJ has filed an opposing brief.

so what happens when tmobile says screw the US and closes all stores in the US. whouldnt that leave reduced competition!!

That's unlikely to happen.

1. Their business is still worth something and generating returns, it generates alot more money if they sell it, than if they simply shut it down. It's not losing money.

2. The problem isn't that SOME company might buy T-Mobile, it's just the problem of AT&T buying T-Mobile and making it disappear. T-Mobile is currently engaged in penetration pricing to take marketshare. I think any aspiring carrier or would-be carrier would jump at an opportunity to have existing marketshare and name recognition. Someone will buy T-Mobile and continue to make it a great competitor in the market. If AT&T buys it, they make it basically go away.

Well, it's just the first cannon shot in a long lasting battle.

Mark my words, for those of us who were around when mobile was in the thoughts of those who dreamt the future, AT&T was a part of Ma Bell, before most of you were in diapers, or just a dream of some young girl who lived her life in belief that Prince Charming would come to marry them.

And those origins run deep still today.

Cingular, the pride of the cellular world, in all it's prime and glory, was swallowed up by AT&T. Overnight, the service was plagued by signal loss, more than inadequate services... a sign of the future things to come.

So if you think the DOJ has stopped "anybody", think again. The public wants it's service, and they will accept whatever service is there. Look at things now...

To be constrained to a practice of signing a long term contract, only fosters the belief that the public will accept, laying down, what the carriers offer them, and they will never complain.

And in the end, AT&T will dictate what you want, when you want it, and how much you have to pay for it.

As the cycle completes, we will be back to AT&T,,,, Ma Bell. And we will say "please sir, may I have some more?"

Actually, SBC took over Cingular and that was the beginning of their decline. SBC is/was a mismanaged company from the top to bottom. When they took over AT&T they took thier name because SBC had tarnished the Cingualr brand to no extent.

For the record it was the other way around. Cingular boughtout att wireless. At the time Cingular was the stronger company. They changed their name to att for brand recognition.

For the record, you can call it what you want;

2000 - SBC combines their cellphone operation with that of BellSouth in a joint venture known as Cingular Wireless. SBC owns 60% of Cingular. BellSouth owns the other 40%.

2001 - As part of a restructuring plan, AT&T decides to spin off their wireless division, known as AT&T Wireless, as a separate company.
at&T wireless logo
2004 - Cingular decides to acquire AT&T Wireless. Cost: $41 billion. AT&T, AT&T Wireless's former parent, retains rights to the AT&T Wireless brand name as part of 2001's spin-off agreement. They announce plans to launch a new wireless service under the AT&T Wireless brand name after Cingular completes its acquisition.

2005 - SBC, which you'll recall is an amalgam of regional Baby Bells spun off from AT&T, reaches an agreement to buy its former parent for $16 billion, $25 billion less than Cingular pays for AT&T Wireless. So SBC owns 60% of Cingular, which bought AT&T Wireless; assuming the Feds okay the deal, SBC will eventually own AT&T, too. Make sense?

Update: merger is approved in November, and SBC once again rebrands to AT&T. AT&T, which still has the rights to the AT&T Wireless name will begin using it in select markets, perhaps as a Cingular-based MVNO.

2006 - AT&T (formerly SBC) announces purchase of BellSouth for 67 billion dollars. Probably just to annoy us.

In the end,
BellSouth = Ma Bell
AT&T = Ma bell
SBC = Ma Bell
Cingular fell victim to Ma Bell regardless of legal roundabout wordings.

Welcome to M&A 101. Call it what you wish, but....Ma Bell

T-Mobile.... Ma Bell

Only things left, Verizon and Sprint. The rest are just cannon fodder.

So...the us govt is ok with companies like budweiser selling off to foreign nations, but not ok with us aquireing a German company.....lol. the us us a falling empire

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like dancing in the streets.. Att knows that they're garbage and now that they don't have Apple in their back pocket the know that they can't keep up'. Good luck to Tmobile . You are a much better carrier. Your customers are happy and you have the hottest women in your adds .. keep up the good work and you'll be just fine. God speed.

no, im pretty sure att doesnt know they are garbage.. because if you were to ask the CEO of att "do you know your garbage?" im pretty sure his reply wont be what you wanna hear

and im really glad you find t-mobile awesome because they have hot women in their ads, im sure you also voted for Mcain, because you thought palin was hot?

So if we let T-mobile merge with AT&T that will solve whats wrong in the economy yeah right, this will also help expand their coverage of 4G to 97% in what year 2020, and this will create jobs for maybe a year then they would be fired.

Supporters of the merger claim that without the merger Tmobile will go bankrupt thus eliminating them, and we'll I would rather have them go bankrupt and possibly auto ction off the spectrum to a regional carrier than get stuck with att

So true, anything to keep another competitor in the game. We might someone like metro make a play for them. Build up some more support for gsm and with the spectrum give from Att. They might be able to compete on a better level. At this point anything is preferable to that then ATT just cobbling up another carrier just to in the end close them down. Along with the associated increase in prices with less service. We might even see Sprint pick them up. As yes that would be a three headed monster of tech (CDMA, Iden and GSM). With the merge for LTE it would give them a good starting point to migrate all their subs to on standard. Would it be messy? Probably. Is it worthnit h3ll YES!!!!

At this point this is the ending of act one. Plenty more ahead before the final act. Buckle up boys. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Please help me understand these concerns. AT&T is a US based company in Dallas, TX. T-Mobile is owned by Deutche Telekom, a German company. How in the world would it be a good idea to block a US company from purchasing a struggling foreign competitor? I use Verizon, and I'm not particularly a fan of AT&T. AT&T would bring approx. 5,000 jobs back to the US and be able to spend billions upgrading their network as a result of this merger. Concerned about monopolies and higher prices for consumers? AT&T announced tiered data way before this deal was announced. If AT&T is not allowed to move forward with the merger, they will have to pay $3 billion dollars to T-Mobile and give up some of their network capacity to them. Who do you think is ultimately going to pay for that? We all are. As a result, the nickel and diming will get worse.

You really believe all of what you said. The first problem is that 5000 job number is a phantom. What will happen is that department gets canned and people are redirected to att Corp dept in existence.

As far as the money spent to upgrade. That's an even bigger joke. It was leaked that it will cost appox 3+billion to upgrade for LTE with having to buy Tmo. So instead they are buying them for what nearly 5 times more then that and still have to spend billions more to do the same upgrade.

And as far as who is going to pay for it if they don't get it. It has been and always will be the consumer. We pay whether they get it or not. I would much rather have Tmo in the market or if bankrupt bought by others and have another competitor to keep Att and VZ in check. Otherwise, if you think your bill is high. Just wait, it will rising faster then a solid rocket booster.

No one but AT&T or Verizon could afford to buy T-Mobile. Also, how would a bankrupt T-Mobile be good for jobs? If we're gonna pay either way as you suggest, why not let it go through?

1. Deutsche Telecom is not being purchased - it is selling off an US holding.
2. AT&T is attempting to garner the favor (and sway politics) of neo-cons by promising to bring "5,000 call center jobs" back to the US. This is probably true, but, I guarantee that the net US jobs post merger would be negative. "Greater efficiency" always means "fewer people employed" because of "redundancy."
3. AT&T announced the merger in March. From what I see on the net, the tiered data plans were announced in July.
4. Poor AT&T, having to honor a contract they knew the possible outcome of.

wait? so if the merger will solve the "bandwidth exhaustion problem".. does that mean they will go back to unlimited data? because wasnt that thier excuse to start charging us in the first place? "too much strain on the network due to unforseen amounts of data usage" thus straining the available bandwidth?

Quote from DOJ, "Thus, unless this acquisition is enjoined, customers of mobile wireless telecommunications services likely will face higher prices, less product variety and innovation, and poorer quality services due to reduced incentives to invest than would exist absent the merger."
-Higher prices? Maybe. Other companies could emerge. (Virgin, etc.)
-Less product variety? Really? So they think cell phone manufacturers will produce less devices?
-Less innovation? Really? I guess Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung will stop innovating?
-Poorer quality services due to reduced incentives to invest? Really? So AT&T would have less of an incentive to upgrade their network that is currently being demolished by Verizon? Wasn't the whole point of the merger to enhance AT&T's wireless network?
The government is again picking winners and losers. AT&T is located in Dallas, TX and is a huge supporter of Rick Perry. That's what this is about.

No, it never has and never was about to enhance ATT's network. That's what they said to get it approved but that was not the reason for it. It simply an opportunity to get another similar competitor out of the market. If you think it was for all they said I have bridge to sell you cheap.

Cause DT wanted out and was in talks with Sprint to buy them. Then ATT saw that if they bought them out instead. They get more customers, become bigger and even more marginalize Sprint as a competitor. To ATT this was a win win. If Sprint had gotten Tmo they would have been on par if not equal to VZ and ATT. With this coming about that still might happen.

-Higher prices? Maybe. Yes in the postpaid market definately
-Less product variety? Really? Have you seen AT&T's smartphone selection, it's not great, imagine if they didn't have to compete with T-mobile for better GSM handsets
-Less innovation? Really? Have you seen how AT&T lock their handsets down in the early days of android smartphones, less competition means less those tactics just become all the more likely
-Poorer quality services due to reduced incentives to invest? Have you seen AT&T's piss poor investment in their network to date? do you think having one less competitor is going to make that better or worse? Hard question
Wasn't the whole point of the merger to enhance AT&T's wireless network? you still believe that? try reading the actual post, it's been proven over and over again, AT&T doesn't need T-mo to get to 97% and they could do it themselves for 1/10 of the cost, this is about reducing competition.

What's wrong with postpaid? My unlimited data plan is worth more to me than my minutes.

AT&T has a much better selection of smartphones than they used to have. In essence, it is quite good, not great. They have gotten much better. I have Verizon and people say the same thing about them as well.

They didn't invest in their network because they were counting on this deal to do that (which it will because this deal will go through).

If it was all about eliminating a competitor, then why would the competitor agree to be taken out?

1. "AT&T has a much better selection of smartphones than they used to have" - Currently AT&T has two android phones (both more than 6 months old) for high end users. It's really pretty awful.

2. The competitor is being purchased because it is held by a foreign company.

The last sentence in your statement is false. In Texas, CWA is to thick for a compnay like AT&T to support Perry the Platypus.

Gotta love AT&T "We'll create 1000 new jobs with this merger....oh, not enough...uh, 5000 jobs? No...not good enough? Ok how about 10 of thousands of jobs then?" They are hiding behind the unemployment rate to try and push their agenda through. It's kind of like going around collecting donations for the cancer stricken and then at the end of the day pocketing it all.

First and foremost your Cancer comment was tacky...

Why would AT&T hide behinde unemployment??? Tell me what the agenda is since you seem to more than the rest of us.

"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."
-Official Statement from DOJ

If at&t really wants to improve service and increase jobs, why doesn't it take that $39 billion it's spending on T-Mobile and increase it's network instead of buying out the competition.

And to those saying t-mobile will just go bankrupt and we'll have one less carrier anyways, who's to say that someone else besides at&t doesn't come and in and scoop up t-mobile at a bargain price and continue to keep competition going in the US?

No wireless carrier except for AT&T or Verizon could afford to acquire T-Mobile. If they do spend the $39 billion themselves, who do you think is going to pay for that?

I didn't say Google or someone out of the country either. I said ANYONE. Why does it automatically have to be a bad thing if someone else buys T-Mobile? Maybe it could be a good thing too?

Why don't we reserve judgment and wait and see who's interested first before having the "omgwtfbbq" reaction and assuming the world will end if another company buys T-Mobile?

Good i hope this doesn't go through and at&t has to pay all that money to tmo and then maybe tmo can expand their network more and come back from the dead.

ehhhh... get used to it.

A couple years from now, As you look at your Verizon or Sprint ultra expensive, maga contract phone, then for pure curiosity pull the cover, pull the battery, and remove the mainboard, you'll probably see AT&T branding.... Ah Ha Ha Ha

Everyone is praising this move. This is a mistake, now t mobile will go through it again when sprint tries to buy them. I would rather it be att/T-Mobile than sprint/T-Mobile.

And why would that be bad? You get Tmo and Sprint into a stronger competitor. They will merge to an LTE standard. We know unlike ATT, Sprint will invest in the network. And we keep both ATT and VZ honest with consumers as now they really need to compete. I don't see a downside to that.

facts are clear? really? the only facts I know is that they will take over T-Mobile and try to crush all competition outside of Verizon. It doesn't help anyone. and it won't create jobs. it doesn't take any more people to run T-mobile today than it will to run it after ATT takes over. stupid people. its all cliche and trying to spin things. they want to stiffle competition. Their past shows just that. please don't allow it to go thru.

Sprint can't afford to buy T-Mobile. Sprint uses CDMA, T-Mo uses GSM. If you think Sprint can afford it, look at this:

Period Ending Dec 31, 2010 Dec 31, 2009 Dec 31, 2008

Assets
Current Assets
Cash And Cash Equivalents 5,173,000 3,819,000 3,691,000
Short Term Investments 300,000 105,000 28,000
Net Receivables 3,221,000 3,291,000 3,454,000
Inventory 670,000 628,000 528,000
Other Current Assets 516,000 750,000 643,000

Total Current Assets 9,880,000 8,593,000 8,344,000
Long Term Investments 3,389,000 4,624,000 4,064,000
Property Plant and Equipment 15,214,000 18,280,000 22,373,000
Goodwill 359,000 373,000 -
Intangible Assets 22,345,000 23,089,000 22,886,000
Accumulated Amortization - - -
Other Assets 467,000 465,000 585,000
Deferred Long Term Asset Charges - - -

Total Assets 51,654,000 55,424,000 58,252,000

Liabilities
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable 6,235,000 6,017,000 3,362,000
Short/Current Long Term Debt 1,656,000 768,000 618,000
Other Current Liabilities - - 2,301,000

Total Current Liabilities 7,891,000 6,785,000 6,281,000
Long Term Debt 18,535,000 20,293,000 20,992,000
Other Liabilities 3,880,000 3,558,000 1,894,000
Deferred Long Term Liability Charges 6,802,000 6,693,000 9,480,000
Minority Interest - - -
Negative Goodwill - - -

Total Liabilities 37,108,000 37,329,000 38,647,000

Stockholders' Equity
Misc Stocks Options Warrants - - -
Redeemable Preferred Stock - - -
Preferred Stock - - -
Common Stock 6,016,000 6,015,000 5,902,000
Retained Earnings (37,582,000) (33,779,000) (31,148,000)
Treasury Stock (227,000) (582,000) (1,939,000)
Capital Surplus 46,841,000 46,793,000 47,314,000
Other Stockholder Equity (502,000) (352,000) (524,000)

Total Stockholder Equity 14,546,000 18,095,000 19,605,000

Net Tangible Assets (8,158,000) (5,367,000) (3,281,000)

AT&T doesn't want to spend the money to upgrade its network infrastructure. It's actually a more viable option to purchase T-Mobile and it's bands so it can dump a lot of the data load it's received since taking on the iPhone over the last few years. Remember when everyone was screaming bloody murder over no signal and no data with AT&T? This was why. Besides the obvious reason of purchasing a competitor, it would also stand to make AT&T the largest GSM carrier in the US. Period. Why most of you think this would be a good thing, I assure you it isn't. Bear in mind this is the very company (albeit the mobile division) that had the previous incarnation of being Southwestern Bell. Sound familiar? The DOJ had to break them up over antitrust issues. The reason? They were raping the consumer. As a longtime T-Mobile customer, I was very disturbed to hear of this potential merger. I'm glad the DOJ had the sense to intervene and make moves toward blocking AT&T's acquisition.

**EDIT** Beyond that fact that T-Mobile stands to gain the $3Billion in break-up fees from AT&T, their sales have been VERY strong since the announcement of the merger. Unfortunately, Deutsche Telekom seems to REALLY want to unload T-Mobile. Today, shares of stock fell after the announcement of the DOJ filing. I would like to think that once the dust settles, Deutsche Telekom will see the profitability of T-Mobile's future.

I feel like you are looking at the now instead of the future. Google could buy them but then they would have to do lots of hiring (ggod thing for the U.S.) and training and I feel that would be risky especially since Apple is toying around with starting their own wireless service.

QUOTE:

" They were raping the consumer"

1. No one makes you get service to ANY carrier. We choose to pick the company we feel works for us.

2. You seem happy with T-Mobile so if this does go thru, you will be grandfathered in.

3. If this merger doesn't go thru, what will go down with T-Mobile? They can't continue to operate like this.

I don't even know why we are debating this...in the end it will be AT&T vs. Verizon forever.

Well I'll be. I usually find the current DOJ to have questionable judgement at best. Now I'll have to look into this whole thing again to see if they stumbled upon a good idea. :)

I'm a Sprint customer, formerly a T-Mobile customer, formerly an AT&T customer and originally a Verizon customer from back in the 1980s, when "wired" cellphones in cars were not commonplace and the Verizon moniker was yet to be created.

My carrier was MetroMobile or CellularOne and eventually Bell-Atlantic Mobile and then NYNEX Mobile. Back then the predecessors of Verizon Wireless did not serve the area where I lived and THEY STILL DON'T TODAY (21 years later) despite repeated smoke-blowing up our asses (um, I mean creative marketing) that they have the most reliable, largest, biggest, faster network around.

I left NYNEX for T-Mobile and was genuinely impressed, but service quality and signal availability could fluctuate too greatly. I tested the waters of Cingular Wireless and eventually signed up, then that company became known as AT&T (again) and before long I found myself hating the company for it's choppy service in downtown Boston (even with full-signal bars).

That's when I decided to move to Sprint and the Android platform. I have been reasonably happy with Sprint and I find their attention to customer service to be quite good. :)

Everyone here booing this merger please wake up! T-Mo can't afford their current situation and there is no other U.S. based GSM carrier here. Verizon couldn't buy them (CDMA) and Sprint can't either (NASCAR). You can't stop a moving train. This merger will happen...

That makes no sense. But hey thats par for the course here. Of course either VZ or Sprint could buy Tmo. The question is why. In VZ's case they are big enough that they don't need to. In Sprints case they would have bought them and run it as a joined sub network. Then 2+ years from now as LTE is built out they merge the subs to the new standard and retire tmo as separate entity.

This is a significant merger to watch out for. Will it indeed create huge benefits from consumers or will it stifle competition in the industry? A lot of negative sentiments have gone to telcos before, and such a deal may pose a threat to improving mobile services.

ATT need to expand the old fashion way by earning it.Not buying it. Start spending on the equipment technolgyy instead of buying it from some else.