Sprint Voices Opposition to AT&T's Proposed T-Mobile Acquisition

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News Posted: Mon, Mar 21 2011 10:16 AM
AT&T announced its intent to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion from Deutsche Telekom, a deal that would marry the world's second and fourth largest wireless carriers. It would also reduce the wireless playing field to just three, with AT&T on top followed by Verizon and Sprint. Would this be a good thing for consumers? Not according to Sprint, which had plenty to say on the matter.

"The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, if approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would alter dramatically the structure of the communications industry," Sprint said in a statement. "AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers. A combined AT&T and T-Mobile would be almost three times the size of Sprint, the third largest wireless competitor."

Sprint, which acquired Nextel in 2005 for $35 billion in an attempt to close the gap between itself and the other wireless carriers, fears AT&T's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile would effectively push it right out of the park, let alone off the playing field.

"If approved, the merger would result in a wireless industry dominated overwhelmingly by two vertically-integrated companies that control almost 80 percent of the US wireless post-paid market, as well as the availability and price of key inputs such as backhaul and access needed by other wireless companies to compete," Sprint said. "The DOJ and the FCC must decide if this transaction is in the best interest of consumers and the US economy overall, and determine if innovation and robust competition would be impacted adversely by this dramatic change in the structure of the industry."

Verizon so far has refrained from speaking publicly about the deal, though it's still early. With all of the red tape to sift through, the merger isn't expected to take place for another 12 months.
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AT&T needs to get shattered into pieces again. Letting them get all back together again after the first time they were broken up was stupid and now their getting even worse.

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jonation replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 1:35 PM

So the two worst carriers are gonna combine... I really doubt this will get past the FCC though. Hey ATT how about spending half of that offer on improving your service so I can make a damn call.

I feel bad for cricket if this happens... We need the competition so we can have unlimited plans ;)

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realneil replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 3:24 PM

AT&T needs to get shattered into pieces again. Letting them get all back together again after the first time they were broken up was stupid and now their getting even worse.

When AT&T was broken up, it was a telephone company with a USA wide monopoly on long distance calling. Now, they're one of many companies in a totally different market. I don't think that breaking them up is a good idea. I think that the big change needed in this industry is the way that they do business with the people.

Their contracts SUCK, and they're skewed in their favor, in every way. They charge too much for their services, and I say this because of the huge profits that they report (all of the Cell carriers) at the end of the fiscal year. All of them are raking in 100's of BILLIONS of dollars every year. While a fair profit is a good thing, I think that they're feeding a little too heavily at the trough of America's economy.

Many other service companies are trying to model themselves and their industries after the way that cell companies do. (TV Cable service anyone?) It seems that everyone wants to put me on a two year contract now, with heavy penalties if I decide to stop their service. Even if their service sucks! It's not right,......

I say that contractually guaranteed profits, without earning your customers trust through stellar service, should be outlawed in America.

The fact that big government seems to be poking it's nose into every facet of our lives isn't lost on me. Maybe they need to poke a little into the way Cell Phone companies rip off Americans every day.

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Great points RealNeil.

The fact of the matter is that the cell phone carriers have held back innovation in America. You can only buy certain phones on certain carriers (in most of the world, cell phones and service are sold separately), the 2 yr contract is standard for everyone and so are early penalty fees.

I think we can blame Apple for AT&T becoming the monster it is today. Without the iPhone resurrecting its customer base, AT&T might have been forced to *gasp* become cheaper. In fact, I was able to get a very good plan right before AT&T and cingular merged, and kept it for 4 years until my SIM card got lost. We had 3 lines, 3200 minutes, 1500 texts, free nights and weekends, free calls after 7pm, all for $95 a month. The new plans cost over twice as much. 4G roll out is slow, and LTE's hypothetical top speeds (50 or 70 Mbps) will be only a fantasy with AT&T. How long before you cap out with AT&T's 2GB limit?

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OSunday replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 10:25 PM

@realneil , this sounds like the return of Ma Bell!

AT&T, the company with the worst plans, pricing and service is combining with T-Mobile, the company with no selection of good phones... That means 80% of the US wireless post paid market is going to be controlled by a company with Crappy service and plans and crappy phones too!

Props @gibbersome on the Apple product note, since they were the only carrier of Apple Products for a period of time it gave the reserve funds in order to buy out T-Mobile, and I believe I read in an article that AT&T is doing this to compete with Verizon since Verizon now carries apple products and has taken a huge market share away from AT&T, AND Verizon is pushing their latest LTE Fios network or something of the sort to have a strong national 4G coverage as well as Verizon may (and I believe allready is in some big cities) provide true highspeed, high bandwidth service through their new fiber optic network

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Mar 22 2011 12:50 AM

O Sunday I totally agree only on the cellular side of things. Thing is land line phone is dieing and has been slowly for years. Now with the US having an ever larger part of the population in or around metro areas this trend is way higher in those areas. I just got a Vonage phone for business only, they were the last land line I used 4 years ago. Point is my main phone will still be the cell even for the business. The Vonage is more for voice mail as well as there features, plus it's 9.99. The point is this looks like just the new version of Ma Bell to me, same thing different platform. Then what Verizon buys MetroPCs and Sprint to compete. If they let this one go through I think they will rue the day in a couple of years.

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