FCC Grills AT&T On Proposed T-Mobile Acquisition


Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission, better known as the FCC, requested for more information from AT&T regarding their acquisition of T-Mobile. Specifically, AT&T’s supposed commitment to roll out high-speed wireless services to 97% of Americans. An AT&T spokesman had this to say,

“Requests from the FCC staff for additional information are to be expected given the detailed review they are undertaking. In this case, the FCC is seeking supplemental information on our commitment, following merger approval, to bring 4G LTE mobile broadband to 97 percent of all Americans.”

Not sure if this is a coincidence but this request comes after AT&T’s “fail” last week where they accidentally included confidential information in a letter they sent to the FCC. This confidential information (that was later removed) showed AT&T could expand their network for only $3.8 billion, roughly a tenth of the $39 billion they’re paying to acquire T-Mobile. Apparently this information was only “theoretical.” Not so sure I believe that.

[Via Reuters]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I’m sure they could roll their network out for $3.8 billion, but why not spend 39$ billion and be the biggest carrier with said network expansion. Glad the FCC is checking into the bullshit. I for one would be excited if T-Mobile stuck around.

    What gets me is why they are struggling, not enough coverage in enough places? I think they have some of the better phone line ups. Will the iPhone 5 help them out subscriber wise? Its clear that people were with AT&T for the iPhone for a long time.

    1. The FCC is wholly owned by the Telcos. The only question is this: Who is going to offer Chairman Julius Genachoswki the best salary to be a lobbyist after leaving the FCC? That company will be the winner.

    2. “Not enough coverage in enough places”.

      Bingo. I travel from the midwest to the western US once a year (road trip). TMO coverage is abysmal compared to VZW and ATT

  2. Sounds almost like it is dead in the water

    1. Don’t get your hopes up. The FCC is masking the fact that they know they’ll approve it. It’s misdirection.

  3. Great, the FCC is checking into this for us!

    In other words, all that lobbying AT&T did will surely help them when the “watchdogs” start sniffing around.

    “Everything is legit, folks” – FCC

  4. Oh C’mon! this is all just a drama show the pigs in DC are putting up to appease the people. It’s a staged game. The deal will be approved. sadly :(

    1. The deal will likely be approved, but I wouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that the FCC and SEC are the same as they were in the Bush years.

      1. It’s more likely to get rubber stamped than before, the only reason it’s being “investigated” is because we the People threw a hissy fit about it, otherwise it would have been approved by now

  5. With the quality of t-mobile’s support as of late I could care less. T-mobile has been horrible ever since the news about the merger and even is it gets shot down I don’t see them trying to redeem themselves. T-mobile is killing their reputation and it is causing them to lose customers even faster than before. When sprint launches their galaxy s2 next month I am leaving t-mobile.

    1. Say what you will about their service but they’re still investing in their network, bringing their version of 4G to New markets and upping speeds in existing markets.

      They didn’t have to do this. On the other hand you have ATT who has incentive to NOT invest in their network because then they’re justified saying “See! We need T-Mobile to better our network!”

      1. they are barely adding 4g service anywhere. All their 4g service is is a jacked up 3g signal. They are not bringing it to many new places, just bringing their 42mpbs signal to current 4g areas. As for me, i could care less about their 42mpbs connection considering I am still stuck in a 2g area when verizon and sprint offer 3g and soon 4g.

        lastly, i could care less about the signal considering that i am stuck with a lemon phone that keeps dropping signal and all tmobile wants to do is offer me a phone in exchange that cost maybe half what i paid for this device. tmobile has been the worst carrier as of late and i have little to no patience to deal with them as of late.

        1. You must not be reading the articles where they lay out TMo’s coverage expansion. Don’t deny it because you’re not experiencing it.

          So what what their 4G signal is..they’re delivering speeds that are comparable to 4G and beat Sprint’s network in several areas.

          What phone do you have and what phone is TMo offering in exchange? You can always claim a defect and get a new phone.

  6. You mean “acquisition” not “acquistion” and “they’re paying” not “their paying” Damn people, get some editors. Still love you guys ;)

    1. Damn, good eye. =)

      In my defense, I wrote this up at 2:30AM? =p

  7. The FCC is what’s also known as, “a false sense of legitimacy”

    1. True. I have zero faith in them to do the right thing.

  8. Everyone knows that AT&T is full of –it. The FCC knows it as well but they are going thru this line of questioning just for the public sake. The behind the scenes dirty money and sneaky moves have already been accomplished and this is just smoke screens. This deal will no doubt go thru and the FCC should be ashamed of themselves and investigated. This is one deal that should not be allowed on so many different levels. If this does go thru, the FCC must be investigated by a 3rd party and follow the money trail. This will push the mobile industry back 10 years.

    1. If the deal doesn’t go through, why would the FCC be investigated? Shouldn’t they be investigated if it does go through?

  9. It really is amazing how we all point out the fact that the FCC is corrupt as hell. Everyone knows it but nobody can do anything about it :(

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