US Senator Herb Kohl: The AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Needs to be Rejected


The senator of the best state in the country – Wisconsin – has called out against AT&T and T-Mobile’s (say that 5 times fast) proposed merger. Herb Kohl, being the chairman of the US Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, made his case to the FCC in the form of a formal request to block it.

Given his position, his stance against the deal is likely seen as a victory for Sprint and all of the other smaller carriers who can ill afford to let these big time acquisitions happen.

As everyone has, Senator Kohl has cited stifled competition and economic implications for customers as reasons why the merger should not go through.

While we try to stay as objective as we can here at Phandroid, we can’t say we’d like to see good ol’ Magenta scrubbed off the face of this country. Needless to say, we’re glad Kohl has taken this stance and we’re hoping the rest of his committee is just as supportive and aggressive in blocking the deal. [CNBC]

[Update]: Responses from both T-Mobile and AT&T. It’s the same defensive stance they’ve always taken so we won’t make a big deal out of it.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. AT&T and T-Mobile
    AT&T and T-Mobile
    AT&T and T-Mobile
    AT&T and T-Mobile
    AT&T and T-Mobile

    I do agree though, I realllly don’t want T-Mobile to be consumed by… that thing. I get great service at a great price and don’t want to lose it.

  2. So he isn’t one of those insane senators that everybody in Wisconsin wants to recall?

    Im in Madison right now, and I swear, every other commercial on TV is asking to recall congressmen.

    Edit: Oh, US Senate, not state. haha

  3. Well, this looks promising. Lets see if TMobile rewards its customers with free hspa+ for a 2 year contract! LOL

  4. Which AT&T&T-Mobile Merger Commercial is Your Favorite?

    1. I want to see one where cute T-Mobile girl finds out her parents set up an arranged marriage between her and frumpy AT&T guy. I imagine her looking horrified while AT&T guy looks like that cat that ate the canary.

  5. With T-Mobile’s new plans released.. Now I really don’t want them to be gobbled up by AT&T.

  6. AT&T will try to eat everything in its path and crap it back out in a much well…crappier version.

  7. Saying you don’t want tmobile to be bought out isn’t be biased. It’s having common sense. :)

  8. There is nothing about Wisconsin that makes it the “best state”. How do I know this? I live in California.

    1. I live in California as well, never been to Wisconsin. But I believe the
      “Best State” reference is due to the fact that this Senator (the first) wishes to block the merger. Which is why it would would make it the best.
      Of course I could be mistaken and maybe the writer is from Wisconsin and has some misplaced allegiance….

      1. Actually Quentyn is from Wisconsin. Haha

        1. Bingo. Born and raised. :)

          1. I have heard there are a lot of ugly women there.

          2. LOL. Cali ftw

          3. Oops…lol, no disrespect but um Wisconsin “best state”…really?!?…really?!? ;-)

      2. Hey I’m from Jersey and that type of talk will get you a resting place in the other endzone…..right across the way from Hoffa!

    2. Wisconsin rocks, but California FTW.

    3. I’ve been to Wisconsin. Ashland to be exact. The entire week I was there, (In summer thank God) nobody smiled. It was a depressing place due to the dour looks. Good cheese though.

      And besides, We all know what the Best State is. Texas.

      In fact, There has to be 55 slots because Texas is the best 5 states!

      The worst? Cali or Jersey. It’s probably a tie.

  9. I had Cingular before AT&T took them over. I can say my everything went down hill from there. I don’t want T-Mobile to be next Cingular in AT&T’s path to make everything terrible.

    1. Actually, Cingular took over AT&T. They just kept Ma Bell’s well established name. But I def know where you’re getting at.

      1. Merger and take over are two different things ya know.

  10. You go, Herb. Screw you AT&T.

  11. Sounds like AT&T has some more check-writing to do before they get this deal passed. Wonder what Kohl’s price is?

    1. hopefully we can still use the phrase “you cant put a price on integrity” after this debacle is finished…

    2. Exactly; that was my first thought, I can just see the scene at ATT now, “who forgot to send this guy his damn check?!!!! Send some lobbiers to get this guy wined, dined and laid now….. and send some campaign contributions…..”

      1. He’s not seeking to be reelected for another term. ;)

        1. Not to mention Kohl, while hardly clean (what person elected to Congress possibly could be?), has always been big on consumer protection. There’s a few industries that probably never bothered to send him a check. Wouldn’t have done them any good.

  12. Anybody else get the feeling Tmo is riding both sides of the fence on this? I just got some silly “magazine” in the mail from Tmo all about their Android presence. They do quite a bit of stuff that actually makes it seem like they aren’t counting on the sale going through.

    1. I’ve been noticing that too. The deals they’ve been offering, high end Android devices continue to be released, the coming high speed 4G devices…. It just doesn’t seem like they are prepping for takeover.

  13. Thank you Senator Kohl for showing common sense and your ability to do what’s right for the people of Wisconsin and in this case the whole country..

  14. Oh No BIg Government not letting the merger happen. The world is coming to an end.
    I all seriousness Im a T-Mobile customer and I prefer then over ATT.

  15. This guy looks like a rapist. Or a senator. Or both.

  16. Seriously, if the Chairmain of the US Senate Antitrust Subcommittee can’t block this deal then we know the government is useless and has been paid for by Industry Lobbyist. There is no consumer protection if those charged to protect us has been bought off.

  17. Still not sure why the merger is bad. T-Mobile has been holding a “for sale” sign for a while now, what’s so bad about AT&T wanting to lay down the money to get them? Especially since T-Mobile’s service is absolutely terrible because they don’t have the resources to support their own network. T-Mobile and their customers will only be benefited by this merger. It’s a win-win, T-Mobile users finally get a network that is strong enough to support them, and AT&T’s very strong network will be strengthened. And the only reason why Sprint is opposing it is because they know that they are going to be the weakest and smallest carrier on their level. Their service is terrible and WiMAX is pathetic, they are screwed if AT&T and T-Mobile merge, but that’s their fault, they shouldn’t blame AT&T for doing some “evil” thing.

    1. AT&T is evil therefore they must be stopped…

    2. man oh man u r narrow minded. this isnt about just the customers on t-mobile my ill minded friend. from a business stand point and a consumer stand point the big picture is painted like this at&t buys t-mobile lowering national us carriers down to 3 making at&t the no.1 carrier (in terms of numbers) in the U.S and verzion the no.2. Now what happens when second most if not the most expensive carrier in the U.S becomes the no.1 carrier in the U.S well you lose competition and you lose a reason for the market to continue to progress forward with innovation instead you get a company with almost 80 of the post paid cell phone customers on one carrier and really now where for them to go besides to verzion just as expensive adn then sprint. now with lesser competition the speed at which we see phones coming out wont be as fast because most of them will be aimed at at&t meaning cmda wont get as much attention as before and the list goes on with what will happen but the biggest thing is that if t-mobile customers think their bill will stay the same look at what happened when at&t brought cellular one ppl on cellular one bills went sky high and ppl couldnt jump ship because they didnt want to pay the ETF. An on top of that t-mobile customers bills rising will be to help pay for the large investment at&t will have made into buying t-mobile…. some has to get the short end of the stick n help at&t recoup that money n the customers are always the sucks who have to pick up the slack so u tell me at&t buying t-mobile is still “a good idea”

      1. I stopped reading halfway through because your lack of spelling, capitalization, grammar, punctuation, etc. was bothering me to much, it was literally difficult for me to read it. I did get that you were trying to call me unintelligent, which I don’t quite understand because it’s hard for me to think you have any working brain power at all if you can’t even type correctly. I’m not going to try to argue with idiots, but I will say this simple statement: AT&T is not ridiculously more expensive than T-Mobile, and it’s definitely not more expensive than Verizon or Sprint. Your argument is invalid because you called AT&T the most expensive carrier, which is hardly true. With unlimited on AT&T I’m paying the same monthly as my brother who is on T-Mobile, and he has unlimited as well. Regardless, you pay more for better service, T-Mobile IS cheaper, but you get what you pay for either way. I’ll stick with AT&T and pay a little bit more and get better service, signal, and speeds. Especially for where I live, AT&T has H+ here and T-Mobile is just barely rolling out H, which my brother still hardly ever gets. He just sits on E most of the time, and this is after H was “rolled out” to my city two months ago.

    3. For a TRUE merger.. Separate AT&T mobile from the parent company, Keep ALL mid and upper management from T Mobile, as well as 80 percent of all T Mobile employees overall, and RE-BRAND to something new.. Then maybe it “might” be a good thing.

  18. Please pleas please please please please please Help us Senator Kohl.

  19. I remember having Centennial Wireless before AT&T gobbled them up and they had great service!! Now their service totally sucks and it was always the same run around about how they had to switch towers over etc.

    Even people I ask now who were obviously forced to move over to AT&T say the service/signal is horrible compared to what it was when it was just CW.

  20. This is why I buy my Nikes from Kohls. <3

  21. I agree with Herb. This merger is bad for consumers. We need more competition in teh wireless world. Also, Quentyn got it right. Wisconsin FTW!

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