FCC: Not So Fast AT&T

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by MajorDomo, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. MajorDomo

    MajorDomo [H]ard as it Gets

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    Last week we reported on the proposed purchase of T-Mobile by rival wireless carrier AT&T. The FCC hasn’t started its hearings on the sale yet, but signs are already showing the transaction will not be a slam dunk.

     
  2. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    I don't see how this doesn't get approved. There are enough carries that this couldn't be considered anti-trust.
     
  3. Jimi_Shuffler

    Jimi_Shuffler [H]ard|Gawd

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    I hope the deal never goes through. (t-mobile customer here)
     
  4. bastage

    bastage Pics of your wife?

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    I also hope it fails (Walmart Family Mobile customer here)

    I Would rather see both T-mobile & Sprint grow to within 20 or 30 percent of AT&T & Verizon. Put them all on equal playing fields & watch the price wars begin.

    As a consumer loosing what is arguably the most cost effective of the national carriers is a bad thing.
     
  5. Viper87227

    Viper87227 [H]ard as it Gets

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    I'd like to keep my T-Mobile please. Hoping this doesn't happen.
     
  6. xBanzai89

    xBanzai89 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't see how this will help the market other then a top player dominating even more. I understand a Sprint and T-mobile merger to make them more competitive, but an AT&T will make the market worse off imo. This is coming from a AT&T subscriber as well.
     
  7. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yes, you are correct 3 carriers is more then plenty, as long as people have 2 choices why do they need more.
     
  8. Mabrito

    Mabrito [H]ardness Supreme

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    Sure there are other carries, but AT&T is huge...Verizon is huge. Besides Sprint and TMobile, Verizon and AT&T make up the vast majority of the US cell phone market. Taking out one of the players and putting it to three carriers, is not a good idea.
     
  9. Knight_of_BAAWA

    Knight_of_BAAWA Gawd

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    I don't get why the mafia capo has to give his approval for this. It's none of anyone's business but the owners of T-Mobile and AT&T. I don't need government permission to buy a Big Mac; AT&T surely doesn't need government permission to buy T-Mobile.
     
  10. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is common for all major things like this, you buying a hamburger and multibillion companies buying each other out in an attempt to screw over customers is different.
     
  11. Cyrilix

    Cyrilix 2[H]4U

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    Sounds like you just don't get it.
     
  12. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ard as it Gets

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    What's he not getting, exactly?
     
  13. Cyrilix

    Cyrilix 2[H]4U

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    That the situation is not the same. How could you even make a hamburger analogy?
     
  14. Mabrito

    Mabrito [H]ardness Supreme

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    QFT

    Guess he wants 3 main cellular carriers (really 2, but I will count Sprint) that will have more freedom to jack up the already high cell and data rates and not care about the customers as they will have no choice to use there service or less they want to get some crappy Boost Mobile service or some of those other small companies.

    Theres a reason why the FCC broke up AT&T in the 80's and 90's.
     
  15. DoggyDaddi

    DoggyDaddi Gawd

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    I was just a kid when Ma Bell was torn to pieces... kind of makes it all pointless doesn't it? We've already got price-fixing and industry wide gouging on what are now considered mandatory/basic features of online plans and carriers. How long till this all turns into another "They've been conspiring together for YEARS to fuck you on memory pricing"?

    Ah well, I only bought my cell to make calls, and its monthly charge is still less then I'd be paying for a dedicated land line every month for less convenience. I love my blackberry curve.. it's a great little music player, but I get odd looks when I pull out my Sony MVR-V6's and plug them in LOL.
     
  16. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ard as it Gets

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    Oh.

    Yeah. ;)
     
  17. [Retaliation]

    [Retaliation] Limp Gawd

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    I remember as a kid all the major telephone companies being forced to break into smaller portions,cuz they were "getting to big" now here we are 30 years later,going right back to the same cycle,i already pay too much for cell service,and ATT is already WAY to big of a company,so one can only hope the fcc declines this
     
  18. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Purchasing a burger for $5 with nothing other then maybe some fries and a drink to eat with it (damn Im hungry now) is vastly different from a major corporation assimilating another one for $39 BILLION. Thats 7.8 billion burgers, don't forget the FCC has to probe to see how the employee's will be treated after the merger, benefit plans, retirement plans, its a pretty big mess to make sure these guys won't get treated like foxconn employees.
     
  19. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ard as it Gets

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    I can easily see us heading towards a handful of huge conglomerates, in bed with the government like GE and some others are now, running it all. Trend seems clearly headed in that way.

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=21230

    Case in point.
     
  20. DanNeely

    DanNeely 2[H]4U

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    Only the largest 4 (3 if the merger goes through) have more than a 2% marketshare, they're not big enough to count for much competition wise. More seriously, excepting those that partner exclusively with a big carrier for service; most (all?) of them can't even afford to build their service out to 3g levels and none of them have announced 4g plans. This isn't just a matter of funding, most of them don't have enough spectrum to do anything else.

    Long term this means the semi-independents are screwed on their current business model. They only have two options: Either have to buy 3/4g data from their roaming partner even in their home network region, at which point they become a de facto subsidiary of a big carrier in the same way that the small fry without any spectrum ownership are. Or they get bought out entirely by their national roaming partner, at which point their competitive value becomes zero. I suspect the latter is the likely fate of Sprints half dozen iDen only partners who have no upgrade path for their current phones and are dependent on a national network that Sprint would very much like to shut down so they can re-purpose the spectrum for more modern services.
     
  21. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Has worked great for our political system.... should I vote for the douche or the turd?
     
  22. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh hi, I see you weren't around for the telephone monopoly. You know, when we payed up the ass for their service, and when you had to rent a phone, like we do with cable boxes.

    Doesn't that sound like it sucks ass? THAT'S WHY IT'S GOOD TO REGULATE THIS SHIT!

    Remember Bell Atlantic? Course you don't. The government broke them apart to create Verizion, AT&T, and all the other phone companies you know. Now, they're merging and recreating Bell Atlantic.

    Competition is good, merging is bad. Especially when T-Mobile was the driving force for competition. You know, their my favs, and cheap and still available unlimited data plan. Hell, they were the first to bring us Android.

    So now, we have 3 companies. Sprint, which is still cheap. Verizon, which does whatever AT&T does. AT&T, which just keeps fucking over it's consumers.
     
  23. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    The most popular vote, is the no vote. No vote wins every election.
     
  24. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sorry, i was trying to be sarcastistic there. i forgot to put :rolleyes: at the end of that.
     
  25. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Might as well let AT&T have them. Better than Verizon or Sprint because at least ATT is GSM and it won't be a total clusterfuck of a merger trying to force a carrier to switch signals. Deutsche Telekom doesn't want T-Mobile US anymore so whether or not ATT gets approval someone is going to buy them.
     
  26. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    maybe, maybe not. Maybe they just get spun off into their own company.

    As for it being a clusterfuck, it wouldn't be the first time. Look at Sprint/Nextel. Other time they just started dropping voice over iden in areas and started making people get new PCS phones. In this case if somebody was to buy out T-Mobile, they could just use the towers that T-Mobile has in any area they don't already have them to improve their coverage and in time just make the customers switch to different phones.

    The real question here isn't how easy will it tie into an existing network but how much will it help or hurt customers. Just because you don't have to upgrade to new phones, if your rates double or triple for you to keep your phone that doesn't really help you.
     
  27. Hyperian

    Hyperian Limp Gawd

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    They will lobby congress to strip FCC's power to regulate when FCC doesn't let them merge.
     
  28. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Sprint/Nextel is exactly the kind of thing that should be avoided. That was a huge mess and it screwed over a lot of customers. It could cost a lot of money to convert all of TMos towers from GSM to CDMA on top of converting their pretty large data network and forcing everyone to buy new phones because very few phones can work on both. Verizon or Sprint would have to offer massive discounts on new phones and plans for people forced to dump their old ones so multiple billions of dollars on top of the billions it would cost to buy them.

    TMo could be spun off on its own, but Deutsche Telekom has been trying to sell them off for about a year now. There were rumors of Sprint making an offer a while ago, but either that didn't happen or the offer wasn't good enough. Being split off on their own might be the best idea for the company. TMo has great support from Google for Android phones, they have a good network with good coverage and reasonably priced plans.

    The general rule of thumb with large mergers like this is to allow former customers to be grandfathered into their phones and plans. Its generally done more to keep the customers than to be nice though. Forcing millions of customers to pay higher prices, have less data, and maybe even buy new phones is not a great way to retain them.
     
  29. TheBlueChanell

    TheBlueChanell [H]ardness Supreme

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    I agree whole heartedly. When the rumors that sprint was gonna purchase t-mobile usa I was happy. I think it's something we need.

    I don't necessarily believe losing t-mobile would be so bad. Sprint has really up their game, and it seems t-mobile has as well and it would make things really interesting because sprint is 3rd but still far away from att/verizon.
     
  30. Knight_of_BAAWA

    Knight_of_BAAWA Gawd

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    No, I don't. It's a deal between two parties, not three.
     
  31. Knight_of_BAAWA

    Knight_of_BAAWA Gawd

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    It's exactly the same. How can you think that a deal between two parties somehow means an extramarket entity has to get involved?

    It's between AT&T and T-Mobile, period. No interlopers need impinge.
     
  32. Knight_of_BAAWA

    Knight_of_BAAWA Gawd

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    So why was AT&T so scared of Verizon getting the not-to-be-named-here phone?

    Because the federal government created the AT&T monopoly in the first place; that's historical fact (it was done during WW1).
     
  33. Knight_of_BAAWA

    Knight_of_BAAWA Gawd

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    I was. The federal government created it. Historical fact. Even AT&T admits it.

    Do not attribute to the market the fault of government.
     
  34. Unknown-One

    Unknown-One [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You're forgetting one rather important fact: Not all cell carriers have coverage in all the same areas.

    There are quite a few places where you can ONLY get coverage from a single carrier, which means that carrier effectively has a monopoly on service in that area. If AT&T merges with T-Mobile, they gain even more areas where they'll be the only service provider.

    That's why the FCC is getting involved. AT&T is becoming THE ONLY carrier for a lot of people in a lot of areas.
     
  35. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    It will most likely get approved, but with major concessions.

    Fact #1: ATT is bigger than Verizon was when they bought Alltel

    Fact #2: T-Mobile is bigger than Alltel was when it was bought by Verizon

    Fact #3: Due to the size of both of VZW and Alltel many wireless properties & customers had to be divested in order for the government to allow it, especially in areas where it would reduce the numbers of carriers available to 2 or 3.

    Fact #4: After the merger there still was (and is to this day) an Alltel. This may happen with T-Mobile or all the properties the government makes them sell could go to a smaller carrier.

    Its possible ATT will get only 1/2 to 2/3 of T-Mobile's customer base.

    I used to work in the industry, I still know it pretty well.
     
  36. badcaps

    badcaps Gawd

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    Abolish the FCC.
     
  37. -PK-

    -PK- [H]ard|Gawd

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    AT&T felt very confident that this deal would go through with only a few comprimises. Which makes me believe that they have a strong argument and enough of congress in their pocket to make it happen.
     
  38. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Since you know so much about the industry, let me ask you a few questions. Since I'm a T-Mobile customer myself.

    #1 How does this effect our contract? Switching contracts will offer me better deals, then sticking with T-Mobile/AT&T. When the deal is final, can I jump to Verizon or Sprint without having to pay the cancellation fee? I'm on a family plan, and it'll cost me $150 per person to cancel, and there's 5 people on the plan.

    #2 How do you think they're going to treat consumers will smart phones? Unlimited data plans? Free offers for newer smart phones, that will actually work on AT&T's network?

    #3 Will AT&T at least try to match the plans that T-Mobile offers?
     
  39. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    AT&T will buy T-mobile then Verizon will attempt to buy Sprint.
    This will basically give AT&T a monopoly on the GSM network and Verizon on the CDMA network.
     
  40. JMccovery

    JMccovery 2[H]4U

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    It'll more than likely go through, but, after concessions, it won't really benefit AT&T as much as they thought it would.

    Here in Mobile, AL, AT&T and T-Mobile overlap, Sprint sucks (horrible speed/coverage), and Verizon... Is just Verizon. The merger completing means that the only way I'll be able to get 3G/4G is to go to another carrier.