Home

Share this Story

U.S. Files Complaint to Block AT&T’s Acquisition of T-Mobile (Updated)

The U.S. government is not a fan of AT&T’s attempt to snatch up smaller rival T-Mobile and has filed an antitrust complaint to try and block it from happening.  Here is a quote included in the filing:

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said.

I’m actually a little shocked at this news.  While a number of issues have been brought fourth over the last few weeks that did not favor AT&T, I was under the impression that most analysts predicted that this acquisition would still happen.  And this doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t happen, it just means it could be a lot trickier.

Update:  AT&T has released a statement, and boy do they not sound pleased:

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.

Update 2:  And Sprint has now released a statement…

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.

And this is most definitely developing…

Via:  Bloomberg

  • Adam Elghor

    i love sprint!!!!!!!!!! stupid vzw i might switch

  • Granted

    You’re shocked. It would horrible if that merger happened. Two companies pretty much ruling the market isn’t good for the consumer.

  • jason6g

    “Allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population”

    Allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE – i thought their hspa+ was “4g”

    another 55 million Americans – they already have it, those “another” 55 million people choose tmobile, not at&t currently

    or 97% of the population – 307,006,550 is the current population in the states – 55 million is only 18% of the population, not 97%

    gatta love legal/marketing graduates…

  • http://twitter.com/NemaCystX NemaCystX

    I bet Sprint wouldn’t have said that had they been the one to merge with T-mobile like they wanted.  lol so hypocritical 

  • Anonymous

    We need more choices (and good ones, not this ATT/T-Mobile BS) for service, not less. Why is it I can go pre-paid and spend a $100 less per month on my 3 lines? Because the big 2 have made it clear you’re gonna pay thru the nose for service.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

      yet people flock to the “big 2″ instead… why?  It’s obvious they see more value than pursuing the cheaper pre-paid option. 

  • Anonymous

    That’s it….since no one can play nice all cell phones must be turned in.  All providers will be shut down.  New form of communication will be carrier pigeon or a string with two tin cans….

  • Guest

    How does a merger like this cause “tens of thousands of jobs” more like we will loose tens of thousands of jobs from this merger. Hate to say it but +1 for the DOJ

  • Guest

    Droid-Life:  The site that’s anything but droids anymore.

    Rename please.

  • GreenMeansGo

    Good job DOJ. At no point in the history of mankind has a merger resulted in MORE jobs.

  • Kerry Saylor

    AT&T is simply amazing…  their interpretation are hilarious!  For example:

    “Help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.”How will acquiring a competitor help this??  It won’t – it’s just pulling another user under their own umbrella”Allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;”
    Not so fast AT&T – all you are doing is buying T-Mobile’s customer base.  That’s not exactly “expanding.”  And, 97% of the population?  Population of what??  Total B.S.!! 

    “Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.”This is the funiest of statements!!!  Especially when we all know that AT&T doesn’t plan on adding “tens of thousands of jobs” to the American economy….most likely, they will be ELIMINATING “tens of thousands of jobs”!! 

    US Government – Your proof is easy!  Kick AT&T’s butt across the country!

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve0mac Steven Cornea

    If this deal goes threw, whats to stop verizon from buying sprint? or metro PCS

    did the gov also step in on microsoft way back in the day?

  • http://twitter.com/Pollita_Droid Erica M.

    Even if ATT did buy T Mobile their reception would still suck along with their customer service…

  • Arthur2142

    Wait a second…is this going to create 5,000 new call center jobs or is it going to create “tens of thousands of jobs”? Or is it both? I’m confused at this point, but either way, I’m still against this merger!

  • Stelv81

    Looks the US Government can actually make the correct decision sometimes.

  • Stelv81

    Looks the US Government can actually make the correct decision sometimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

    It’s not the job of our government to interfere in the marketplace. Why should any company have to “ask permission” to merge with another? If you believe in liberty and free markets you have to be against this attack on ATT. If you believe the government should be there to protect you from the consequences of your own choices then you should be all for this intervention.

    • Anonymous

      Just like the point I made. Our government is becoming more and more involved with aspects of our lives that should be entirely up to us to take care of on our own. +1 sir

      • Stelv81

        We need some sort of consumer protection or soon none of us will have a “choice” and speaking metaphorically be bound by the decisions of the massive super corporations.  

        • Stelv81

          sorry forgot to add the metaphor…massive super corporate monarchy.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

          Protection from what exactly? No corporation can “force” you to buy their products, that is, until said corporation gets in bed with the government who has a monopoly on force. You should want the government to stay as far away from the marketplace as possible for they are they only reason certain forms of monopoly survive. Without the government involved, the only way a monopoly gets to exists is if the company is able to provide the best products at a price consumers are willing to pay. Once they cannot they open the doors to competition to take their market share away. 

          Again, you don’t have a right to dictate how many competitors are in the marketplace but you can certainly support which ever competitor you want for whatever rational or irrational reason you choose. Just don’t be surprised if your choice goes away because they can no longer compete. That’s life. 

          • Anonymous

            “Without the government involved, the only way a monopoly gets to exists is if the company is able to provide the best products at a price consumers are willing to pay. ”

            That’s so full of crap. Let me know how I can get out Comcast being my cable provider or Verizon as my local phone company. They certainly suck to me. 

    • Anonymous

      That must mean you’re a lobbyist.  If not, enjoy those inflated prices as a result of no regulation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

        When prices get too high (ie. prices outpace the value (ever wonder why Verizon is still killing it even though they are higher priced?) then that simply entices more competitors into the marketplace. If they can’t compete then they don’t deserve to be in the marketplace. 

        • Anonymous

          There are economic theories that agree in theory and explode in practically to that point based on resources. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

            Yeah, as soon as the cell phone industry manufacturing resources are no longer able to innovate their way out of your “theory” then get back to me. 

          • Anonymous

            Then I’ll get back to you right now. 
            There are no more available AIR WAVES left to launch new cell service. You can’t innovate around that. It’s a basic principle of the operation. ….That’s AT&T’s main reason for wanting T-Mobile in the first place. So either way you’re wrong. It’s either anti-competitive, or AT&T is lying 

          • Rizzidy

            False.  There is plenty of whitespace and other unused, but nevertheless restricted/licensed spectrum.

          • Anonymous

            soooo there’s still no space for me to launch my own network? That’s what I thought, thanks for playing.

          • Rizzidy
          • Rizzidy

            lolu

            That spectrum problem is the direct result of government intervention.  You can’t cherry-pick your arguments.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not trying to cherry pick anything…. regardless of how it’s devided, sold, used, it’s a finite resource that is required for such an operation like mobile technology.

             Let me guess, there should be no FCC, and it should be one big free for all for the public airwaves…. *eye roll*  

          • Rizzidy

            Well buddy, if you are trying to argue free market vs. non-free market you need to be consistent.

            Also, throwing in the strawman crap at the end there is pointless.  I have taken no position here.  I’m only pointing out the fatal flaw in your argument.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t see it as a fatal flaw. I’m not even trying to make a free market vs non free market argument…why does everyone view things these days as black and white, you vs me?

            Bringing up the FCC wasn’t a strawman anything. They regulate the US airways. You referred to the limited spectrum it as a ‘government intervention’. Intervening how? So we have some consistency, order, and planning of American airspace, a finite resource?

          • Rizzidy

            Bringing up the FCC alone wasn’t the strawman.  Read what you wrote again or go back to school.  

          • Anonymous

            ha, Stay in school kid.

        • Anonymous

          That’s an ideal that simply doesn’t work in the real world, particularly not in this specialized industry that requires extensive infrastructure and wireless spectrum.

    • ricky siebold

      Please keep the tea party bs out of here.   The problem is when you allow companies to get too big they will force smaller companies out i.e. Sprint.   Then there will be only two cell phone companies.   Once you have two giants it will be impossible for another company to compete.   Once all you have is AT&T there will be nothing stopping them from price gouging.   Mobile phones are not a convenience anymore, they are a necessity to be able to work.   I use my phone at work all day long, and not just for email.   I use it to communicate with cars, look up work instructions, etc.   The mobile phone industry has to be regulated and there has to be competition for the good of the country as the economy depends on it.   End of story.   Conservatives simplistic view of free market is so obnoxious. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

        Tea Party? That’s like me calling everyone else here a bunch of government loving liberals..  which I did not so please take your name-calling tirade elsewhere. Being called a conservative is also an insult I think you should take somewhere else. 

        Anyway, to address your points:

        You are not entitled to a cell phone. You are certainly entitled to shop for one and as long as you have the freedom to do so there will always be competitors vying for your business. This freedom doesn’t cease just because you have fewer choices.

        No cell phone company can “force” another out of the marketplace. ATT is not “forcing” TMobile (DT) to do anything it doesn’t want to do. If you want to place blame on someone or something then perhaps you should blame all the cell phone consumers for exercising their right to choose between existing carriers by not choosing TMobile. Why don’t they choose TMobile? Once you answer that then you can begin to determine whether Tmobile even deserves to be in the marketplace. If they can’t provide the value consumers demand at a price they are willing to pay then they don’t deserve to remain and they certainly don’t deserve protection from the government. None of their “rghts” have been violated by the execution of this sale and neither have yours as a Tmobile customer (assuming you are). 

        You use your phone all day? Boo hoo. That has nothing to do with ATT’s and DT”s right to buy and sell their assets to each other free from government scrutiny. 

        The good of the country? Please…  love that irrational collectivist ideology… lol

        • Jim Ortmeier

          Ok fine you’re right. We in this free country don’t have the right to anything. So, to all the corporations out there, where’s the $10 a gallon for gas, $20 for a bandaid, $50 for a hamburger? To take this to the fullest extent of your argument, that could happen.

          But competition could come in you say? Look at the gas companies for my argument. Have you ever seen a gas company charge half of what another does? Since the gov’t should stay out of it, what is to stop companies from this practice? It’s called price fixing. Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t have the right to food, water, clothing, or anything. That is unless wer’re willing to pay what the prividers ask for. But without any consumer protection, the sky’s the limit on that.

          You reap the benefits of consumer protection everyday. Fair prices for goods, fair pay for work, etc. You sure you want to do away with all that?

        • ricky siebold

          AT&T would be forcing Sprint to merge with Verizon in order to stay competitive.   By your logic you’ll also be ok with AT&T merging with Verizon when they’re the only two left?    Yeah, it’ll be possible for a competitor to come along, pfffft.   Please.   I’m not boo hooing, I can afford whatever plan they put forward, I pay for cell phones for multiple family members every year, it’s not that big of a deal to me if my plans were to go up.   I’m with Verizon because I depend so heavily on my phone I need the best coverage and fastest internet, but make no mistake without T-Mobile and Sprint my bill would immediately go up.   It’s not about me, it’s about the future of an industry that’s extremely important to our every day life.   Verizon already flexes its muscles with a lack of phones because they know they don’t have to have the best phones when they have the best coverage.   Without competition they’d be giving us Zach Morris phones at $300 a month for 20 minutes of talk time.   

          The big deal is that it is no longer a luxury to have a cell phone, it’s a necessity.   Good luck getting a job,  when you have no cell phone in the communication age.   Time and time again we see that lack of regulation always fails, it’s the reason we’re in the mess we’re in right now and it will set back the cell phone industry when the politicians cave and this deal goes through.   The cell phone industry has been one of the few positives through this awful economy, why?   Regulation and competition lead to innovation. I’m so tired of people being on the sides of multi-national companies that are pretending to be the little guy that’s being held down by the man.    They’re just joining forces because it’s easier for two guys to bend you over in small room than one in out in the open. 

        • Jim Ortmeier

          Another thing, “why don’t they choose T-Mobile” Or why don’t they choose Sprint for that matter. I have addressed this already. Look at the covereage maps. There are a lot of people who don’t have the option of T-mobile or Sprint. So what happens if Verizon & AT&T get enough leverage to force Sprint out of business? They already play follow the leader with what they offer and for how much. Say they raise prices. Now someone else say I can do it better, but they run into the problem of spectrum. Verizon & AT&T have the lion share of it, and if Sprint goes under you can be sure what they had will be bought up by one of the two. If you say there isn’t a spectrum issue, then why are services like TV and such being rearranged to free up spectrum? You make it sound like it’s easy for a new competitor to just appear. How many new carriers have you seen in the last 10 years that were on the national level? It’s not as easy as it sounds.

      • Guest

        No, the problem is that you’re allowed to have an opinion.  Shut up.

        • Anonymous

          Fantastic argument.  His point made between his tea party comment and conservatives insult was a good point.  You made no argument other than since you disagree with him he should not be allowed to have an opinion.  Good luck convincing anyone of your views if that’s the best you can do.

      • Binglut9

        Everything you said is speculation….you don’t know sprint will collapse and then there will only be two carriers…i actually think opposite but its still speculation….first thing you need to know is that your opinion is not fact

    • http://www.facebook.com/steve0mac Steven Cornea

      I would want the gov to step in and stop this, I wanna have choices on what service I want.

      i think ricky siebold hit it right on the head.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think liberty and free markets are the same thing.

      Did you ever learn of Standard Oil back in the late 19th to early 20th century?  The government is taking a look at this and possibly protecting its people from a huge corporation’s choices not from their own.

      My guess is you’re irrationally afraid of the government.  I don’t mean to be insulting but I find your view flawed. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

        In order for free markets to exist, liberty must also exist; that is, the freedom to pursue success but not the guarantee of attainment. This is how they are intertwined. 

        Do some research on Standard Oil antitrust and you will see that the supposed facts don’t support the antitrust crowd’s assertion of price fixing and the like. 

        I don’t fear the government, I dimply don’t trust it. Given the facts/evidence, this is certainly a very rational position to hold.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe this is just a coincidence…. and maybe you are related to this guy
      *Jim Mullen:*

      *Current – Team Lead; Mobility Pricing at AT&T Mobility*

      Past – Litigator at Cotter & Cotter

      (via LinedIn)

  • http://profiles.google.com/mediogringo Dan Carter

    I wonder how many corporate apologist senators got phone calls from AT&T lobbyists this morning demanding intervention?

  • Anonymous

    “Eliminating T-Mobile would hinder free enterprise. So we’re going to step in and block AT&T’s freedom to do so.” For those of you saying this is a good thing, I want you to really think about that point. In my opinion, AT&T has the right to acquire Tmobile. And if it ended up being a bad move for the consumer, wouldn’t and shouldn’t they vote with their wallets and not buy that service from them? That’s how a free market works. I am not a fan of either company, but the government has no business in this one. Leave it up to the consumer. What do you fellow Droid lifers think about that?

    • Anonymous

      What you’re saying should be true but in reality that’s not how it works. With less competition all three carriers would be free to raise their prices. History shows this, that’s why there are antitrust laws in place.

      I know I’m not doing a good job of countering your point. I know nothing I could potentially say would change your mind on the subject either. I’ve been there, I used to think the same.

      • Anonymous

        Then in that case I would go with cincinatti bell, or boost, and so on.. there are other carriers, and if the pricing got too high where people couldn’t afford it, then they would go without. And then these companies would have to lower their pricing after they began loosing customers. You guys need to watch the Walmart episode of South Park. They explained it perfectly. And lets look at electric companies. Perfect example: in the Columbus Ohio area, your only choice is AEP. Why doesn’t the government step in and enforce competition there? Its not up to the government to do these things people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

        Just as you are free to cancel your service. Perhaps you feel you are entitled to a cell phone at a certain price?

        • Anonymous

          We’re entitled to corporations not having a lock on PUBLIC airwaves and gouging us as a result of a lack of competition. 

    • Anonymous

      Not when the only existing options all conspire with each other to price fix, particularly the big two who follow each other in lockstep.  That’s where the government is failing the most, they should be launching an anti-trust investigation in the wireless industry.

    • Anonymous

      Not when the only existing options all conspire with each other to price fix, particularly the big two who follow each other in lockstep.  That’s where the government is failing the most, they should be launching an anti-trust investigation in the wireless industry.

      • Anonymous

        Their conspiring with each other? That’s odd, I thought they were competing…??? Well in that case, maybe THEY should merge.. derp

        • Anonymous

          Oh yeah, sarcasm and underhanded insults, good counter argument.

          Clueless clown is clueless.

          • Anonymous

            Cut him a break.  He’s probably high. 

  • Anonymous

    why the heck is the government getting involved in this? This is a perfectly legitimate acquisition.. and if they fear ATT will gouge the competition.. well hello, there is still Sprint and Verizon!.. or maybe some other little mobile company will step up.

    • Anonymous

      It would make AT&T the only Nationwide GSM carrier until they all switch to LTE which is YEARS away.  That’s like a monopoly don’t you think?  With only two large carriers (AT&T and VZW) and only one small carrier (Sprint) AT&T and VZW can basically set whatever prices they want and not compete with each other without having to worry about Sprint since they’re so small.  Places where Sprint doesn’t cover people well AT&T and VZW can price things however they want and in places where they do have to “compete” with Sprint they could easily win many over by saying how great their nationwide coverage is.
      AT&T and VZW aren’t competing in the sense that lowers prices.  Instead they spend tons of money on exclusives and keep their prices high to make up for it.  The prices are roughly the same for AT&T and Verizon and if their the only two carriers left assuming Sprint wouldn’t be far behind T-mobile (a possibility) prices would have no reason to go down. 

      • Anonymous

        I don’t agree with that. so what if ATT is the only GSM Carrier..people don’t really care if they are with GSM or CDMA as long the prices they get on their devices are good enough.. and devices will go to carriers that are able to keep their customers. Sure a small fraction of people go for GSM because of their worldwide adaptability.. but world phones are also available with CDMA carriers.
        The government has the responsiblity to prove that ATT’s practices violate anti-trust and anti-competitive principles. Just because a company can buy out another company does not mean the buying company is nefariously plotting to screw it’s customers.
        Wanting to expand business and wanting to be the dominant seller of a product does not translate to mean wanting to implement unscrupulous price gouging tactics and screw consumers.
        But if the government can prove so.. so be it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mediogringo Dan Carter

    Jesus, at least the government can do SOMETHING right for consumers. Well, if they successfully block the merger that is.

  • Tonydspencer

    Maybe Google will but T-Mo. Just think vanilla android on Moto phones carried by T-Mo! ARRGGG!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/thomroethke thomroethke

    Sounds like somebody forgot to make their…ahem…”campaign contributions”.

  • http://twitter.com/monkespit brian meyer

    don’t make the government out to be some hero just yet. big brother may just want a cut and is trying to find a way to tax the deal for their own gain.  why start trusting them now people?

    • Mike

      You have to call everyone “sheeple”. That way we know that your allegations are based on sound logic and definitive correlation between facts.

  • Anonymous

    Holy shit, did the US Anti-trust people do their job for one… I am shocked!

  • Anonymous

    With the few billion ATT has to pay if it falls through I wouldn’t doubt this isn’t over yet.

  • mtbhk44

    Amazing – nice job on the US Govt to keep tabs on this.  These two companies clearly did not pay off enough people to make this happen.  This should NOT happen – it’s horrible for competition and for the consumer in the long run.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

      The consumer (nor the government) has any business getting involved in the sales negotiations between these two entities. No one’s rights are violated as the result of this transaction. Deutsche Telekom and ATT are voluntarily taking part in the negotiations of this sale/purchase. Who are you, or the government, to say these two entities can’t sell their assets to each other?

      Do you think you have a right to multiple cell phone carriers or something?

      • Anonymous

        “Who are you, or the government””

        Who am i? A concerned citizen that’s who, with full legal right to object.

        Maybe you should reread your Constitution, it’s not an us vs them argument. “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity””,WE ARE the government. We make laws in which the majority of citizens agree to, to promote a better society for all. If this move hampers the betterment of our society WE as citizens of this country have every right to object. That’s the power of the US. Corporate interests are not above citizens interests.

        • Anonymous

          “WE ARE the government. We make laws in which the majority of citizens agree to, to promote a better society for all.”

          +1.  Reading some of the comments on this, I really feel like this is a point many of us forget these days…

      • Jim Ortmeier

        Maybe you’re right and we don’t have the right to multiple carriers. But we do have the right not to be raped on a service that is becoming just as, if not more, necessary than landline telephone service. That is why antitrust laws were put into effect, to protect the consumer. This time around, the gov’t is trying to be proactive rather than reactive, like what had happened when they had to breakup the monopoly that was the telephone industry way back when.

        It’s just funny to me, the gov’t actually looks out for us in this case and people villify them for that. I’m sure you’ll say that we can just go to Sprint if it goes through. I don’t have that option, and a lot of other people don’t either. Sprint doesn’t have the coverage footprint that VZW & AT&T have. My only 2 options are VZW & AT&T. Even though some people might not be affected now, they will be after VZW & AT&T have 80% of the market. That gives those 2 companies a ton of leverage. Sprint will no longer be a counter balance.

  • Rick

    TMO is also hoping AT&T will acquire them, so TMO has been changing their plans as such. Now, if AT&T does not acquire them, would they continue to adopt AT&T plans or change the plans?

    • Anonymous

      They’re already struggling. If they raise prices and lose customers to Sprint, how would that help them survive? They’ll keep the current plans and wait for a new buyer.

      • Rick

        AT&T has said that if the deal does not go through, AT&T will have to give TMO 6 billion in cash. I hope that helps TMO.

  • Rizzidy

    AP says it’s blocked:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Justice-Department-blocks-apf-1412094367.html?x=0

    • Anonymous

      Great news on this Wednesday morning!

    • Anonymous

      That source also implies T-Mobile is going to wither and die because it is having trouble competing with the other three carriers and DT doesn’t want to invest further.

      Hopefully Sprint can buy T-Mobile and then we have three more equally influential carriers in the wireless space, one of which would be very consumer-friendly (relatively).

  • Anonymous

    Pretty much all the comments (including my own) on FCC site were negative about the acquisition. 

  • rrosotho

    WOW im suprised at this i thought it was a done deal. I guess not! I always thought spring and tmobile should merge together

  • Anonymous

    JUSTICE! Never in the history of industry has fewer competitors equaled better prices or more innovation for consumers. This is good for EVERYONE.

    • Anonymous

      It may be, but you’re missing the big point that its not the government’s job to do this.

      • Giants9833

        Then who’s job is it? We as consumers can’t stop it. When ATT swallowed up almost the entire landline phone system the only ones who could stop them were the government.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

          Sure we can. Unsubscribe. Until then it must still be worth it to some people to pay what they ask. Did ATT steal those land lines? Did they defraud someone out of them? Whose property did they become once they were “swallowed up”? Yours? The governments? 

          Or, was it actually certain government regulations that helped them make these acquisitions while simultaneously creating barriers to market entry for would-be competitors to ATT at the time?

          • Jim Ortmeier

            I went to school for telecommunications. One of the things we talked about at length is what is referred to as “the Breakup of Ma Bell”.  The government stepped in because the monopoly that was the telephone industry back then was raping the consumer. They broke up Ma Bell and then we had what was called Baby Bells, different companies that formed after the breakup of the monopoly.

            You say that the governemnt can’t do this. Ok, then who enforces antitrust laws? The Dept. of Justice. Which is who the governemnt went to on behalf of the consumer. In case you haven’t read, consumers cannot go in together anymore on calls action suits with AT&T because Judge Scalia ruled that they violate the contract that consumers signed with AT&T. So they must arbitrate. Then it’s down to a single consumer vs. AT&T. Do you see a consumer coming out on top in that case?

            I’m sure many will say that it’s big government stepping. But if they stayed completely out of everything, then we have big business stepping on us. There shouldn’t be to much of big gov’t or big business, there has to be a balance. What the gov’t has done in this case is put some power back in the consumer’s hands. I agree with most of the people on here, this is the first time in awhile that the gov’t has actually done something good for the consumer. If anything I sould’ve been outraged if they hadn’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

            Did you also talk about how Ma Bell was able to attain and hold onto this supposed monopoly to begin with? Yep, you guessed it, by government intervention into the marketplace. Without that, it is easily arguable that Ma Bell would never have been able to get to where they did so all we really have here is yet another example of how government intervention into the economy results in the formation of illegitimate monopolies incapable of standing on their own in a free market. 

            Your second point is really just an argument for reforming the courts system so individuals actually have a better chance against large corporate entities. 

            Your 3rd point has a false premise. How exactly can any business, “step on you” without physically forcing you to do something? They can’t without violating your individual rights. If you don’t like the terms of their offer then simply say no or start your own enterprise to compete with them. Surely there will be a market for people just like you.  

      • Anonymous

        If the government only does one thing right it should be enforcing antitrust regulation. Consumers get screwed enough as is.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

          How? Does anyone force you to buy their products?…  nope…  unless you count Obamacare and the fact that people will be forced to buy something for the first time in History.

          • Anonymous

            Figures someone would distort the argument like this, but because I’m bored I’ll bite anyway. Government requires people to do things (especially buy things) all the time. I don’t think theres a single state in the country that doesn’t require drivers to carry car insurance. You’re also forced to buy a service (inspection and registration) repeatedly throughout the life of the vehicle in order to continue driving it. This is also ignoring license renewal and all the rest of that. This is just one example and there are others, but this isn’t the forum to write an essay dispelling your fear mongering so I’ll move on to my next point.

            Cell phones have become an essential service. People cancel their landlines and just go with wireless service nowadays. This merger would give AT&T 142 million subscribers, more than Verizon’s 100 million and almost triple Sprint’s 54 million. None of the regional carriers matter much in the grand scheme of things. If this isn’t anti-competitive I’m not really sure what is. Combine that with the fact AT&T generally has the worst service and worst data speeds (bar some rural areas none of the other carriers seem to care about) with terrible customer service and prices passed onto customers that don’t match what they receive. Cellular service has become as integral to the average American as electricity (a natural monopoly that you are forced to pay for if you want your quality of life to break the levels of the Dark Ages). I’d suggest you wake up and realize this.

          • Anonymous

            Essay? Pot calling the kettle black much?

            Wrong. You aren’t forced to buy any of those things. You might have to in order to legally drive/etc but you aren’t forced to buy them.

            Sorry, competition doesn’t trump freedom. In fact, one could easily argue that preventing this purchase is anti-competitive because it forces ATT to be less competitive than it otherwise would be.

            The last part of your “essay” implies that you would be all for a natural monopoly existing in the cell phone industry. Contradict yourself much?

  • MiSoFine

    BLOCK IT!!!! I am with AT&T and would hate to see TMo get swallowed by them!

  • Thatsj

    AT&T obviously didn’t pay off enough people. Comcast + NBC? Let it happen!

    • Rick

      I wished the gov would have block that too.

  • Anonymous

    Wow… but at this point if the merger fails then both companies will dissolve. At&t has already said that it can’t handle the amount of people on its network and it can’t afford to create new infrastructure. And T-mobile has been bleeding customers for a while, and has created no plans for a future due to its anticipated merge. I am not necessarily a fan of the merge, but it needs to happen for both companies sake.

    • Rick

      AT&T has enough band width to support all its wireless customers, but they are managing it wrong.

    • Anonymous

      You know ATT said that only to get the deal approved. They’re doing just fine financially and have more than enough money to expand the network. They just wanted one less competitor in the market.

      I’m laughing at the commercials they made now about the merger.

  • USG

    +2 for U.S. government.

  • babadush

    It’s about time the government did something that made sense

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    Leave it AT&T to try to form a trust. Historically, this what: their third or fourth time? AT&T loves this stuff.

  • Miwasdfasdf

    Awesome!!! AT&T sucks

  • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

    I hope it gets blocked, would hate to see T-Mo get swallowed up by Ma Bell.

  • http://twitter.com/wikked_rebel Ian

    Wow.. figured ATT/Tmobile would have bribed or blackmailed everyone in the govt that could have stopped this by now. Glad to see there are potentially still some officials up there who are genuinely concerned with protecting the interests of the people.

  • http://twitter.com/wikked_rebel Ian

    Wow.. figured ATT/Tmobile would have bribed or blackmailed everyone in the govt that could have stopped this by now. Glad to see there are potentially still some officials up there who are genuinely concerned with protecting the interests of the people.

    • Anonymous

      No what you don’t understand is that Verizon simply paid the government more to block the acquisition.

      • Mike

        I don’t think that Verizon was particularly troubled by the merger.  They’d be the other part of the duopoly, after all . . .

        • http://twitter.com/praticuschaotic Jon Doe

          A corporation doesn’t need a legitimate threat to stamp out something.

    • http://twitter.com/praticuschaotic Jon Doe

      You don’t have to view it that way. It could just be that Verizon is more in government pockets. They happen to be doing the right thing but that is not their motive for it.

  • Anonymous

    America, eff yeah! Coming again to stop a monopoly FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MANY YEARS!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

      What true monopolies exist (or have existed) without government backing? The truth is the only harmful monopolies are the ones propped up by government in the first place. 

      • Anonymous

        Revist the 1920s with the banking and rail trusts. That didn’t work out too well for anyone.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-T-Mullen/1652413778 James T Mullen

          I think you are referring to the period from 1880 to 1920. The reality of the time period is that the vast majority of the trusts accused of limiting production in order to artificially raise retail prices actually increased production to levels that outpaced the GNP growth the country was experiencing at the time. Essentially, the facts disprove your claims. Sorry, do some research. You will also see what the true motivation behind the Sherman act was… and it has everything to do with lining certain people’s pockets with government coin.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, that’s what my sarcastic reference was implying. Many monopolies, only occasionally are they taken down, very obvious these companies are filling the government’s coffers (see Comcast).

  • Dash Speeds

    Awesome. This merger will only hurt the market as of right now and I know a significant amount of T-Mobile subscribers were looking to jump ship anyway if the merger did go through. 

  • webby

    Every once in a blue moon, the generally over-reaching arm of goobermint does something that I support.  This is that blue moon.  This acquisition is anti-competitive and should be stopped.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely agree with everything you said. 

      • jason6g

        me too! shame that by the time this actually starts to go forward the blue moon will be over and this will most likely go through. whats next, microsoft acquiring apple to lead to a more competitive marketplace?

  • Droid Le

    +1 for US government

    • Anonymous

      You’re all welcome. This Changes everything.

      • Rizzidy

        Seems like more of the same, really…

        • Anonymous

          well im still the muthaf**kin president. Imma go bowl in the white house basement. Dueces

    • Adam Elghor

      +1 sprint for that reply

  • http://twitter.com/semitex Ian ツ ✓

    first…tehehehehehe

    • Anonymous

      fail

      :)

    • Anonymous

      All networks will transition to LTE. It’s just a matter of time and resources.