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Verizon Chief Defends AT&T-T-Mobile Merger

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-is-some-very-faint-praise-in-there dept.

Government 128

The proposed merger of AT&T with T-Mobile doesn't impress everyone as a good idea; in particular, Sprint has filed suit to stop the merger, and while hardly a disinterested party, they're not alone in claiming that the resulting megacompany would harm customers. Verizon is taking a different tack; tekgoblin passes along this excerpt: "Verizon Communications chief executive Lowell McAdam has announced that he is supporting the AT&T T-Mobile merger. He warned that the Government has no choice but to let the deal go though unless they want to fix the current spectrum problems. He went on to say 'We need to be very thoughtful on what the impacts would be to the overall industry if this is a way to regulate the industry without actually passing regulation.' The current telcos need more wireless spectrum to continue expanding and operating efficiently so they have resorted to acquiring other companies."

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Eat a dick, verizon. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480084)

Eat a dick, verizon.

Re:Eat a dick, verizon. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480238)

Yeah, I thought I heard one of them say the word "nigger". We don't like that sort of thing. Not that we white people *really* care except that somebody might be looking and we are taught to feel guilt for a distant history we cannot possibly change, for some reason. In case we get too proud of ourselves for basically inventing civilization and technology or something, we must be taken down a peg or two.

Anyway, here in the US that "n-word" thing trumps any sort of legal, moral, or logical objection you could possibly make. When someone says that, it's game over, man. Do not pass "go", do not collect $200, etc. Just ask Mark Furhman. He said "the n-word" so OJ must have been innocent. No evidence mattered anymore at that point.

Re:Eat a dick, verizon. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480564)

Oh Sookie! Your period blood is divine!

Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480094)

I read a while ago that Deutsche Telekom is looking to get rid of its American T-Mobile. I haven't heard anyone else jumping up with an offer to buy it - and it makes sense that only another GSM provider would want to - so it seems there may be a chance of the T-Mobile (as we know it in the US) going away completely if nobody buys it.

So for us poor bastards on T-Mobile it seems that our fate is either
  • Become AT&T customers
  • Watch T-Mobile go away and become someone else's (possibly AT&T) customer on our own

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480328)

Rumor had it before the AT&T deal was announced that Sprint was negotiating with T-Mobile [cnn.com] .

It could easily be one of the reasons why Sprint is so vocal about their opposition to the AT&T deal.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480426)

Good link. That pretty much sums it all up. Logic would dictate that Sprint has something to gain or lose from the deal; this points to what it is. So was it a lack of gain they're concerned about or is it a little clue that Sprint is losing momentum and about to go belly-up? *rubs hands together*

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480668)

These are all chess moves by monopolies that can't deal with competition. The game is so small that they're scared to death at what might happen.

First, Sprint has NO MONEY and won't be able to raise enough debt to acquire T-Mobile, even if Deutsche Telekom GAVE IT TO THEM. Sprint has no GSM experience, and they'r desperately wound up in trying to deliver 4G/LTE.

Second, Verizon wants this to happen so they can justify their acquisition of SPRINT, who is the only other CDMA carrier of note in the world.

This is all about empires, and Verizon's protecting their ability to have one.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

Hsensei (1055922) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482508)

Sprint has no GSM experience....

Sprint purchased Nextel who was running a GSM network.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

todrules (882424) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480684)

And they didn't step up to the plate in the end. AT&T did with a great offer. Sprint just got outplayed.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481906)

The funny thing is that T-Mobile used to be affiliated with Sprint.
Global One Communications was a conglomerate of Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, and T-Mobile and Orange trace their roots there.

T-Mobile USA, on the other hand, is basically the old PN Voicestream network, which was bought up by T-Mobile, a subsidiary of DT, and has little to do with T-Mobile, except the current ownership.
AT&T buying T-Mobile USA is really AT&T buying the remains of Pacific Northwest that it hasn't already sucked up and reincorporated like a Terminator robot.

Confused yet? Not after the next episode of Telesoap!

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480362)

Hmm. Yeah. Interesting.

It would make sense to purchase some GSM/TDMA equipment that is in operation while, at the same time, upgrading the UMTS and higher-speed data equipment all over the AT&T network. The GSM / EVDO crud could then be sent out to more distant areas that aren't covered currently. The rest could be sold off at auction or through deals to support overseas basic network establishment. Interesting. Interesting.... Let's see what happens.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480384)

It's quite unlikely that T-Mobile will just go away. They have a fair amount of inherent value in their infrastructure, and anyone wanting to become a mobile provider (e.g. Google, venture capitalists, etc) would save themselves a great deal of pain by buying T-Mobile (vs. trying to get towers and spectrum themselves). Realistically, though, it seems most likely they'll get spun off as their own business.

The point is, there's more than enough room for T-Mobile or a similar company in the mobile playing field. About the only problems they have are people willing to sacrifice everything else (i.e. cost, customer service, etc) to get an iPhone or avoid that little dead spot that may or may not even exist. This is more a marketing failure than anything. Implying that T-Mobile will disappear is implying that there's not market for well priced reasonable service.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480640)

I've said it before, but I think that the most likely outcome if T-Mobile goes up for sale after this deal is blocked would be for somebody like Century Link to acquire it so as to not be limited to reselling somebody else's service.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (2)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480646)

How about Google buying it? Or maybe not even Google, but a private equity syndicate led by Brin, et al and other like-minded technology people, with someone brought it to run it as a "not evil" company.

Other less palatable concepts are Comcast buying it; I get a full court press from Comcast sales droids for phone and they always seem slightly annoyed that I'm all cellular, this would allow them into all voice markets. I'm not saying this is a "good" idea but it would be something of a business fit.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480780)

Comcast was in the cell business a long time ago. They eventually got bought by Cingular (I think there were other people in between), who got bought by AT&T.

I doubt they will get back in.

Re:Doesn't the consumer lose regardless? (1)

PoopCat (2218334) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481528)

Option 3: All current TMO customer purchase enough shares (collectively) to block any such buy-out.

Translation (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480110)

We're ready for less competition! Bring it on!

Re:Translation (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480272)

It surprises me that these corporations don't just say stuff like that at this point. They own our government, and the vast majority of people don't even give a shit. Why be coy? There are no repercussions anyway.

Re:Translation (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480734)

It surprises me that these corporations don't just say stuff like that at this point. They own our government, and the vast majority of people don't even give a shit. Why be coy? There are no repercussions anyway.

When the conclusions logically drawn from your premises don't match observed behavior, it's a good idea to check your premises.

Re:Translation (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480934)

good point. there are actually giant repercussions, and stifling business is what causes a lack of economic growth, which in turn leads to a lot of why areas have very poor financial forecasts (bankruptcies in europe), etc.

Oppressive monopolies are not good for financial health of any country.

Re:Translation (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480798)

If you can get into industry conferences you'll hear them do exactly this. An AT&T exec was famously heard to say something along the lines of "we're locking down the Internet and setting up toll booths" at such a thing. That was in the mid-2000s.

Re:Translation (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480280)

McAdam was also heard before the conference saying, "It would be nice to have a larger portfolio to purchase later if, you know, we want to do that.... whenever. I'm just sayin'." /humor

Re:Translation (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480528)

I believe if you trace the history of Verizon was Bell Atlantic. AT&T's roots are Bell Southwest. Any red flags here? Why worry about competition when your brothers? The only real competitor is Sprint. If they get T-Mobile married in to the family, that is.

Re:Translation (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480560)

Re:Translation (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481942)

Good dirt. Thanks! Your points +1, my trust for the biggest wireless companies -10^3.

Re:Translation (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480302)

GOOD CALL.

That's essentially what I got out of it. There's no way consumers will win from this deal.

I wrote my congressmen when this first came to news and got a reply recently:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T. I always appreciate your input and the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

As you may know, on August 31, 2011 the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T placing the matter before a United States District Court. A hearing has been set for September 21, 2011 in the federal court to discuss the status of the case. While I am not aware of legislation having been introduced that confronts this issue, I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind should there be any relevant bills proposed in the future.

Again, thank you for writing me on this important issue. If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my staff.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481502)

Heh, you should give him a call and ask for like $200. Tell him he told you if he could ever be of assistance...

Re:Translation (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480324)

We're ready for less competition AND the competition playing around for 5 years or so trying to get their merger sorted out while we roll out 4G :-)

Re:Translation (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480536)

We're ready for less competition! Bring it on!

And merging means no extra bandwidth, so what problem does it solve?

Re:Translation (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480662)

Easy, with the increased costs and decreased customer service, they'll probably have fewer users competing for scarce bandwidth.

Re:Translation (5, Interesting)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480578)

Alternate translation: "We're planning on buying out Sprint in a few months, so we hope this doesn't cause any problems for us then."

Re:Translation (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480818)

Whoa, mod parent Interesting.

Re:Translation (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482302)

I was thinking insightful. That was my take on seeing the headline.

Re:Translation (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482678)

My thoughts exactly. :)

Re:Translation (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481260)

What does it mean in this case - less competition?

You think AT&T and T-Mobile is not going to try and undercut Sprint? Why?

If they try to undercut Sprint, then it's good - it's going to force Sprint into MORE competition.

If instead they try to organize a cartel, it won't work. Oil cartels don't work, nobody wants to stick to their quotas, there is more money to be made by selling beyond quotas.

If they do set prices that are too high, this is just invitation for more competition from other new directions. Google may enter this market too, it's not unlikely at all, now that they own Motorola.

Re:Translation (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481954)

I'm pretty sure there is some kind of cartel-like arrangement going on already. Look at how the telcos all do things that screw the customer at the same time: jack up SMS rates, impose data limits, block tethering, all conveniently happened around the same time on all carriers.

And tell OPEC or DeBeers their cartel doesn't work. Remember to yell, it's hard to hear when you're swimming in a pool of cash.

Re:Translation (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482214)

OPEC doesn't work as a cartel. They are selling above their quotas, it makes no sense for them not to sell. The higher the prices the more capacity they try to bring on line, but there is no more capacity to open up.

Today's gas prices are lowest in history of USA. You can buy a gallon of gas for 10 cents.

Of-course you need a dime that was minted prior to 1965 and had silver in it.

Re:Translation (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482298)

Oh, by the way, it's true about DeBeers - they are an actual successful cartel.

However that's because nobody cares about their products enough, and there is real competition, it's a different technology, it's called cubic zirconia, you may want to check it out before you waste your money on whatever 'forever diamonds'. Except for cubic zirconia there are also artificial diamonds.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37482148)

You think AT&T and T-Mobile is not going to try and undercut Sprint? Why?

No reason [google.com]

Re:Translation (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482258)

Price fixing is a stupid idea, it doesn't work for cartels because it makes them more money to bring in more customers, so they come up with plans that undercut whatever prices they might have otherwise 'fixed' upon.

Except for that, if there is unfilled demand there will be competition, unless of-course government prevents competition, and it likes to do that.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37482698)

The economic theory that price fixing won't work is based on all players having unlimited resources and cash flow. Cartels that price fix often have ways of punishing those that get out of line. Sure you try to undercut each other but then the larger parties will just undercut to a point that puts the smaller parties out of business. If 2 companies own a market there is little that can be done to compete against them. In this particular case it is not like anyone can just make more spectrum. Imagine a cartel that consists of 3 players owning 90% of the market. Growth by acquiring customers is much more costly and provides smaller margins than just the 3 players getting together and deciding to increase their profits with price fixing. Growth in customer base is finite and thins margins. Growth from agreeing to increase prices is virtually unlimited. The Google search on price fixing was for new in just the past 24 hours. Reality does not seem to support your theory.

Re:Translation (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482730)

Sure, some companies always try to do that, it only makes sense for them to do so. However government involvement ensures that there will be a monopoly, not the other way around.

The market figures out its ways around cartels, for example OPEC can't do anything about its members selling more than their quotas, simply because it's so lucrative. What are you going to do? The only thing to do is start a war. Well, only government can do that - so there we have a few of those wars happening, Iraq, Libya.

However without government wars do not start and the markets for cellphones are not the kind that wars start over. AFAIC the market figures out a way around it, for example VOIP.

More Precise Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37482476)

It's easier to collude when you've got fewer competitors to collude with.

Lowell should read the news more often (4, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480176)

Looks like he hasn't been keeping up with the latest reports; indicating that AT&T is secretly trying to SELL spectrum to smaller operators in order to get support for the merger. Sounds like they have plenty already. (this was discussed on /.)

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480224)

AT&T's argument is that the amount of mobile devices and large bandwidth data users could grow by up to ten times the current amount in under five years.

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480308)

Good for at&t? And if it's so important why are they trying to sell off spectrum? Apparently it's not as pressing an issue as we are being lead to believe if they can afford to sell some off.

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480402)

AT&T's argument is that the amount of mobile devices and large bandwidth data users could grow by up to ten times the current amount in under five years.

With the ridiculous bandwidth caps and tethering blocks? Yeah, right.

I have a feeling we're going to see data usage plateau. I know I've curtailed my data usage heavily since Verizon instituted the 2GB cap.

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480562)

Isn't that the truth....

The truest importance is subconscious and used in marketing constantly. As long as the buyer believes they are on the "fastest network in the country/world", they are superior. The actual performance on your individual phone may vary. No warranties expressed or implied. See ad for details. etc etc etc.

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480286)

spectrum is local so AT&T is probably selling off spectrum that won't be used nationwide

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480364)

It's possible AT&T is trying to sell spectrum in sparse markets, where smaller carriers have a better business model. If AT&T can pick up 10mhz in New York, it's worth the price to buy and re-sell 10mhz in Killdeer, North Dakota.

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480584)

You're assuming that Lowell doesn't realize he's wrong. Much more likely, he's completely full of it, and saying what he thinks will benefit his company to say because that's what's best for him and his shareholders.

Re:Lowell should read the news more often (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480704)

Of course he is, less competition in the market will lead to higher ARPU and lower churn. Even if they keep exactly the same number of subscribers Verizon wins from an AT&T T-Mobile merger and they don't have to spend any capital to get it done meaning for his tenure at Verizon he'll probably outperform AT&T.

This makes perfect sense (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480210)

It would give Verizon the go-ahead to gobble up Sprint in, say, a hostile takeover, leaving only AT&T and Verizon on the playing field. A 2-company oligopoly can price gouge more easily than a 4-company oligopoly.

Re:This makes perfect sense (1)

egranlund (1827406) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480250)

Sounds about right.

Re:This makes perfect sense (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480570)

And then AT&T just has to buy Verizon and it's back to Ma Bell for everyone!

The difference, of course, is that this time they'll own the justice department as well.

Re:This makes perfect sense (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480954)

That's the same thing people said about Ma Bell..yet they got broke up.

Please stop the 'corporation own the government' idiocy. It was tiring to here people say it 40 years ago, and it's tiring now.

Re:This makes perfect sense (2)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481300)

That's the same thing people said about Ma Bell..yet they got broke up.

Yes, after having a monopoly for about 60 years.

Re:This makes perfect sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481598)

That is the bad thing though, I wasn't alive back then but as of now they DO own it. They pay our leaders more than we do at this point for many of them and as such, they get their way on pretty much every issue unless it becomes political suicide to do it except on the rare occasion they get a judge with a brain.

They do not own 100% of it, but for all intents and purpose, they own the majority of it.

Re:This makes perfect sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481668)

Please stop the 'corporation own the government' idiocy. It was tiring to here people say it 40 years ago, and it's tiring now.

As soon as the government allows me a fucking choice in broadband providers instead of authorizing monopolies and duopolies.

Re:This makes perfect sense (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480592)

Nummy nummy nummy, I got spectrum in my tummy. :>

Sorry.. it was right there.

Re:This makes perfect sense (1)

rabun_bike (905430) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480894)

And don't forget that Verizon is also just a former Baby-Bell. For those that would like a eye-popping account of the last 120 years of Ma Bell's straggle hold on US technological innovation read the book "The Master Switch" by Tim Wu.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ, NASDAQ: VZ) is a global broadband and telecommunications company and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It started in 1983 as Bell Atlantic (based in Philadelphia) with a footprint covering New Jersey to Virginia and emerged as part of the 1984 AT&T breakup into seven "Baby Bells." In 1997, Bell Atlantic merged with another Regional Bell Operating Company, NYNEX, based in New York City with a footprint spanning from New York to Maine. The combined company kept the Bell Atlantic name. In 2000, Bell Atlantic acquired former independent phone company GTE, and adopted the name "Verizon", a portmanteau of veritas and horizon,[3] which rhymes with horizon. The company's headquarters are located in the Verizon Building at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.[4]

Re:This makes perfect sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481832)

Verizon wouldn't even need to have a hostile takeover of Sprint. Between Verizon and AT&T, the two companies would control over 75% of wireless customers. This would in effect create a duopoloy that would allow both companies to dictate and control the wireless market.

The duopoly would be able to sign exclusive agreements with hand-held manufacturers preventing the smaller wireless companies from getting access to the latest and fastest phones (iPhone). Verizon and AT&T could refuse to allow the smaller companies to use their networks for roaming and backhaul services, making the smaller regional wireless companies less attractive.

This would force the small wireless providers to raise their own prices, while at the same time would allow both Verizon and AT&T to raise their prices as well, but because there would be no real alternative national wirelss carrier with an extensive network, customers would be forced to choose between the duopoly.

This doesn't even touch on how this would effect business wireless plans and government wireless plans. As it stands now, both businesses and government agencies solicit bids from all four carriers. To go from four national carriers, to two huge carriers and one smaller carrier (Spring has about 15% of wirelss customers), would give Verizon and AT&T a huge competitive and anti-trust edge.

Re:This makes perfect sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481900)

I think if this were to happen I would remember why I don't need a cell phone.

Proof they need more regulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480214)

Never trust industries to regulate themselves when it comes to public utilities.

Re:Proof they need more regulations (4, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480428)

Never trust industries to regulate themselves when it comes to anything.

FTFY

In case you had any doubt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480228)

Verizon knows that rates industry wide will increase. Period End of story. Nothing to do with spectrum and ridiculous to think Verizon's got some soft spot in its heart for AT&T's (fabricated) spectrum woes. Give me a break....

Re:In case you had any doubt... (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480404)

They are also looking forward to an in influx of former T-Mobile customers.

Re:In case you had any doubt... (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481192)

I would guess that T-Mobile customers are more likely to move to Sprint as their rates are comparable to T-Mobiles. Verizon's rates are the highest of any carrier.

(I'm a former T-Mo customer that moved to Sprint in June)

Verizon Sprint Merger? (2)

ox01a4 (2147002) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480262)

Looks like Verizon is posturing for its plan to merge with Sprint. No no mergers are the only way we can keep up with customer demand. I mean you can't expect us to spend profits on upgrading our network. That would be silly.

Re:Verizon Sprint Merger? (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480378)

Not so much if you RTFA. Verizon seems much more interested in grabbing new slices of wireless spectrum from the Government.

He's Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480296)

If we want big Telco to keep expanding we have to let them merge. But maybe it would be better to say Verizon and AT&T you're big enough. There is nothing out there that says it is the governments responsibility to ensure that companies can grow indefinitely. If letting the merger go through raises anti-trust concern then, well maybe they've gotten as big as they should get.

Re:He's Right (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480390)

Then the industry will have to be regulated, Again.

of course they do (1)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480368)

How can Verizon buy Sprint if AT&T isn't allowed to buy T-Mobile?

it is good for Verizon (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480370)

It is good for Verizon, because it gets rid of another competitor. They can raise rates more without another decent competitor to keep them in check.
They also figure, probably rightly so, that a lot of TMobile customers will leave when it happens, giving Verison more.
Then ATT will continue doing the only thing they know how to do, and that is to keep getting worse than they already are, which will drive even more customers away with fewer competitors for them to go to.
More and more customers for Verizon all around, with higher and higher rates.
Win win.

Doesn't anyone remember Sen. Sherman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480602)

ATT and now Verizon are telling us that consolidating the wireless market and discontinuing land lines will be good for the consumer. That sounds like the stuff we were told before we gave up protecting our domestic manufacturers and made it tax advantageous to manufacture in other countries and ship it back here. I still hear that giant sucking sound every afternoon. But I digress. What we really need is use the Sherman Antitrust Act to break ATT and Verizon into 3 phone companies each like we did with ATT in the 1980s. That benefited both shareholders and consumers immensely, and in fact put telecommunications innovation on steroids. If we fail stop the trend of consolidation, we will all pay more and get less.

Re:Doesn't anyone remember Sen. Sherman? (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481154)

And look at what happened when they busted Ma Bell up, two of the Baby Bells ended up assimilating most of their sibs and the legacy LD landline providers: Bell Atlantic/NYNEX + MCI --> Verizon, Southwest Bell/Pac Bell/Ameritech/Bellsouth + legacy-Ma --> "The New AT&T" (ptui). Mountain Bell, er, US West, was bought up by Qwest during the dot-com bubble, now being acquired by CenturyLink.

There's something to be said for economies of scale, the problem is the laissez-faire regulatory structure that's let them and the cable broadband providers pretty well bend us all over the last 15-20 years as the legacy landline business dries up in favor of mobile and VOIP.

Re:Doesn't anyone remember Sen. Sherman? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481860)

Ah, but you're not seeing the whole picture. The benefit of the breakup was that AT&T (the long distance carrier) was separate from the wire carriers for a very long time, and that to this day, the wire services are required to allow competitors to use their lines for other services.

An ideal breakup of AT&T and Verizon would be similar: the towers would be owned by two nationwide companies that are both forbidden to lease access to individual customers, and the customer base would be divided among a crapload of companies that initially own the customer base from a particular region (divided up so that each covers the entire country in small, alternating pockets).

This would create dozens of cell provider companies that would immediately compete with one another on a nationwide basis, and two tower providers that could compete for those cell providers' business alongside Sprint and T-Mobile.

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480616)

Maybe for AT&T part of the issue is spectrum space, but believing the FCC has a binary choice ultimatum of either allowing more spectrum to be auctioned or allowing the AT&T&T merger to go through is complete nonsense. Lowell sounds like a 4-year-old here demanding that they have to do one or the other. The reason Verizon is interested in seeing it go through is A) a merger rejection precedent would be bad for them and B) AT&T is already a clumsy behemoth (even VZW looks good in comparison) and the inevitable fumbled integration is likely to result in a big migration of T-Mobile customers to VZW who will go anywhere but to AT&T.

In any case, it's clear from a mile away that the main goal here from AT&T's standpoint is to capture customers from T-mobile and bump up their ARPU (Average Revenue Per User, the gold standard of the telecom business). It's sad when your brand-name is so tainted that you have to change your name a couple times (SBC, I'm looking at you) and still resort to literally buying customers to expand your business.

Verson's turn. (2)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480624)

Hey Lowell McAdam, You are saying that in order to expand you and AT&T needs to buy other companies to get more spectrum. So when they purchase T-Mobile and you purchase Sprint(for more spectrum) of course. What happens to the marketplace when only two players are left?. What happens to customers ability to chose? What happens to the choices of phones? Remember when iPhone was the only decent smartphone AT&T offered? What happens to unlimited wireless? Since AT&T decided to drop unlimited and you decided to follow suit leaving Sprint as the only true unlimited carrier. I don't buy your spectrum argument. I think you are licking your chops at the ability to drive up prices due to lack of consumer choice and nickel and dime us to death with overage charges. We do not want a duopoly on communications in America.

Re:Verson's turn. (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480682)

...What happens to the marketplace when only two players are left?. What happens to customers ability to chose? What happens to the choices of phones?...

Pretend I'm Lowell or any major shareholder...

"Doesn't matter because I will sell my stock shares off before any government wireless regulation or antitrust settlements reach their point of de-fruition."

Re:Verson's turn. (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482340)

LOL ain't that the truth.

Merge then Bust 'em (1)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 3 years ago | (#37480732)

I say we let them merge, then bust AT&T up again into 7 little companies to see who gobbles who up. The prices for competition will be good for about 5 - 6 years and we will all get to see some good commercials and not to mention some really cool logos! It's the new way of entertaining the rich and the poor can sit helplessly while they are brainwashed into believing one company is actually better than another...

Re:Merge then Bust 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480858)

I say we let them merge, then bust AT&T up again into 7 little companies to see who gobbles who up. The prices for competition will be good for about 5 - 6 years and we will all get to see some good commercials and not to mention some really cool logos! It's the new way of entertaining the rich and the poor can sit helplessly while they are brainwashed into believing one company is actually better than another...

Better to let them merge and then nationalize the resulting monopoly. The Post Office needs a profit center.

Agree with Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37480826)

The FCC needs to fix this. These companies having to invest billions to own a radio frequency is annoying. My devices having to support T-Mobile 3G or AT&T 3G is annoying. These spectrum issues need to get addressed since they limit competition and only the super companies can afford to compete.

Spectrum is not what's holding AT&T back (3, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481128)

AT&T has plenty of spectrum. What they don't have is connective infrastructure. I constantly have AT&T signal but data just won't go through because the towers' routers are overloaded. AT&T needs to take the billions it is trying to spend buying T-Mobile to add bandwidth.

Re:Spectrum is not what's holding AT&T back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481806)

I might be missing something, but I doubt that you'd be able to tell the difference between overloaded spectrum and overloaded routers... Signal intensity shouldn't be effected by either one. Both will have problems with oversell conditions. I suppose poor latency might be a sign of overworked routers, but with wireless latency it's difficult to establish a baseline.

Re:Spectrum is not what's holding AT&T back (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482382)

AT&T has plenty of spectrum. What they don't have is connective infrastructure. I constantly have AT&T signal but data just won't go through because the towers' routers are overloaded. AT&T needs to take the billions it is trying to spend buying T-Mobile to add bandwidth.

But how do you expect ATT to make money? Investing in infrastructure costs money. Doing nothing is free.

Of course he would defend it... (1)

Polo (30659) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481256)

...After all, they're next!

(and then finally, AT&T will be back together)

If you let them buy Tmobile,... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481354)

you cannot stop us from buy up Sprint.

What the Verizon Chief really wants to say (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481486)

"With less competition across the board, we can all charge higher prices. It's a win-win!"

One more expense to eliminate (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481536)

Honestly, with the cost of internet (I have only one choice in my city of 200K) Comcast charges me, plus the third-party applications to allow telephone calls to wi-fi devices (skype, talkatone, etc.) and free texting, I will eliminate my cellphone before most other expenses. No, I don't need to be accessible all the time and kind of loathe that aspect of modern society, as of late. If you really want to get a hold of me, you know what to do.......

Of course he does (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481566)

Where else will all the T-Mobile customers go?

Sprint? Stay with AT&T? lol

Of course they support it. (1)

mrquagmire (2326560) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481584)

Because that then opens the door for Verizon to purchase Sprint so that there will be even LESS competition.

Then VZW buys Sprint or Sprint goes under. (1)

jensend (71114) | more than 3 years ago | (#37481828)

"Collusion and price-fixing are so much friendlier with two. :)" - Lowell McAdam

Does no one see the benefits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37481830)

I have a QUAD band GSM phone. Do you know how many bands are actually used? Only two. 850 and 1900 in my area. Do you know who provides service on the other two bands att doesnt offer in my area? T-Mobile does. I have 0 signal in a lot of places I go mostly because of buildings and shit, but when I'm in my own backyard, have 1 bar of service and 3g is totally unusable and I have to force to edge to get it to work? Total bs, especially considering my friend who has T-Mobile has 4-5 bars of service in the same place.

inovate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37482096)

So let me get this straight. Instead of trying to innovate and develop new tech to use the existing spectrum you have. You instead want to gobble up competitors for there spectrum and continue to not spend any money to upgrade, yet at the same time increase prices on everyone.

Ya remind me again how that's good for me the customer?

And down the stretch they come! (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482172)

Immoral corporate greed and inane douchebaggery headed for a photo finish!

Price fixing. (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 3 years ago | (#37482526)

Its easier to conspire with one company than with two when fixing prices and overcharging for services...

As a Verizon customer, I often wonder why my $99/mo plan costs me $160...
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