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AT&T Officially Ends Plans To Acquire T-Mobile USA

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the admitting-defeat dept.

AT&T 176

An anonymous reader writes "AT&T has officially announced that it no longer plans to purchase T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. In a press release, the company said, 'The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry. It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.'"

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176 comments

And there was much rejoicing !! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427796)

A t-mobile subscriber.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (2)

TehDuffman (987864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427922)

Now does DT use this 4 billion on TMo's network (LTE!) or save it and sell TMo to someone else. That is the question.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428992)

You're not texting or whatever it is you do. Don't use acronyms constantly, it's getting super-old... especially when you have a keyboard and can type the letters in a second or two.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429544)

I could care less - as long as they sell it to somebody who doesn't already operate a large mobile network in the US. They'd have every incentive to continue to improve the operation, and DT has every incentive to make TMo look good for sale.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (4, Insightful)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427950)

Well, there was some rejoicing. Deutsche Telekom still wants out of the US market, so we can sort of expect to be treated like second-class citizens for a while until the inevitable occurs and either T-Mobile sinks entirely or someone ELSE buys them out.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (5, Insightful)

lanner (107308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428654)

If the kind of service that I've gotten with TMobile over the last 10 years is "second-class", I'll have to say I like it. What would that make ATT customers? Fifth-class citizens?

Remember that TMobile is a PROFITABLE company. They are actively making money. If DT would just cut them lose and give them the freedom to succeed or fail, I am willing to bet that they would do pretty well.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429472)

Remember that TMobile is a PROFITABLE company. They are actively making money. If DT would just cut them lose and give them the freedom to succeed or fail, I am willing to bet that they would do pretty well.

Profitable is an elusive beast. Its doubtful T-Mobile alone would survive.

During the first quarter of 2011, T-Mobile saw its revenue hit $4.63 billion, putting it in line with the first quarter of 2010. However, the company's profit fell over $200 million year over year from $362 million last year to $135 million in the first quarter of 2011.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20060353-17.html [cnet.com]

They can see the writing on the wall, as their small market area makes it hard for them to compete.

In addition DT has problems elsewhere, parts of their Euro market [businessweek.com] are also tanking. In fact the German market sees to be the only place they are making a good profit margin. They were counting on the now-defunct sale as a source of income.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429588)

What small market area are you talking about? Last summer, I traveled in big loop around the US between California and Wisconsin. Wyoming was the only state that I did not get good signal in. I spent 6 weeks working from the back of a mini-van with no problems.

I made a bone head configuration setting on my phone in Minisotta, and the customer service in the T-Mobile store in Minisotta was just as good as that here in California.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429678)

Minnesota. Spell checker works for you as well as other people, and there is no penalty for using it.

HINT: You were roaming on AT&T most of the time. But happy delusion day to you.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429264)

Well, there was some rejoicing. Deutsche Telekom still wants out of the US market, so we can sort of expect to be treated like second-class citizens for a while until the inevitable occurs and either T-Mobile sinks entirely or someone ELSE buys them out.

They have said they wanted out, with 4 billion may change their mind.

They are not particularly profitable in the US because they are tied to the Euro mind-set of how mobile works. It doesn't work that way in North America, and never has. The area you need to cover is vast, the technologies in place are varied, and other than a Cutey in a Pink Dress, they don't have anything that is significantly different than any one of several small-fry carriers.

They need to change their mindset, realize they are in it for the long haul, and decide to make some money.
As long as they keep chipping at the business, all the while expressing distaste for the market, and doing the minimal amount to expand their coverage they will never be profitable.

Perhaps they need to pair with a couple of the smaller regional carriers, or look to Ball Canada or Rogers for a partnership.

But continuing to moan about how unprofitable it is gets them nowhere.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (4, Insightful)

devleopard (317515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427998)

Just remember why Deutsche Telekom wanted to get rid of T-Mobile: it's a bad business for them, they want out. They tried to sell before (to Orange). T-Mobile will still get bought, or will go under. Why did Sprint oppose the deal? They don't care who owns their competitors: they knew T-Mobile was in a death march, and knew they'd get customers when they flatlined. The AT&T deal kept them from getting that plunder. (To say nothing of the assets that will come available when T-Mobile declares bankruptcy)

Of course, T-Mobile gets a couple of billion dollars from AT&T due to the failed merger, which should hold off failure for a couple of years. Nonetheless, if you're a T-Mobile customer, you need to keep your eyes open and determine who your next carrier will be.

T-Mobile USA is not sliding towards bankruptcy.... (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428058)

T-Mobile will still get bought, or will go under.

To say nothing of the assets that will come available when T-Mobile declares bankruptcy

T-Mobile USA makes money. It just doesn't make enough money for the corporate overlords at DT. They don't view the United States as a growth market without billions of dollars in capital investment they've thus far been unwilling to make. Absent that investment T-Mobile USA will remain what it has always been: an urban focused value carrier.

T-Mobile will still get bought, or will go under.

Vodaphone is a possibility if they divest their 45% share of Verizon Wireless. Verizon would love to buy them out; the question is would they be willing to sell to jump into the US market with both feet or does it make more sense for them to keep cashing VZW dividend checks?

Re:T-Mobile USA is not sliding towards bankruptcy. (5, Interesting)

SecurityFocus (1535169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428218)

Right. T mobile is a very pervasive player in the Telecommunications landscape. SBC or AT&T as they like to be called, LOVES to buy out direct competitors. They saw Tmobile as a very large player in the space and coupled with T-mobile's 4g network and affordable prices, it was a natural fit for them. I worked for AT&T both before and after they where purchased by SBC. Which I detailed some of my experiences at http://whyattdestroysjobs.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com] ... Let's just say while I was there, ATT management as well as Sales Managers such as myself while I was employed with AT&T where constantly going up against T mobile.. Simply because they T-mobile offered affordable plans, greater flexibility in devices, and more affordable and faster service(s) and CUSTOMER SERVICE that was hands down better than AT&T/SBC. Only what ATT did not bargain on- which frankly they should of KNOWN is the current economy and state of affairs in DC - that proposing a Merger in an election year when unemployment is at record highs and their is further economic uncertainty around the world, that a deal like this that would stifle innovation, lead to higher consumer prices, et al could not of been proposed at a worse time!

Re:T-Mobile USA is not sliding towards bankruptcy. (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428436)

T-Mobile USA makes money. It just doesn't make enough money for the corporate overlords at DT. They don't view the United States as a growth market without billions of dollars in capital investment they've thus far been unwilling to make. Absent that investment T-Mobile USA will remain what it has always been: an urban focused value carrier.

I live in an urban/suburban area and have great coverage. When I travel to a more rural area, which I do frequently, my T-Mobile phone roams on the AT&T network if T-Mo isn't available. The collapse of this deal will only help since not only does T-Mo get $3 billion cash, they get a transfer of radio spectrum to T-Mobile and a more favorable network-sharing agreement. DT valued the breakup package at as much as $7 billion.

I travel to Europe enough that I need a GSM phone. T-Mo provides great service at better rates that AT&T. They unlock your phones at no charge and with no fuss, and they have great customer service.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (4, Informative)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428160)

T-Mobile is very profitable. Deutsche only wants out because it's no longer in growth mode. It certainly won't grow any without spectrum and LTE, and it can't afford either one. So yeah it will be sold or merged one way or another, but it's not a bad business. They can ride their faux-G network for a while but not forever.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428234)

T-Mobile is doing fine, it's just that DK wants to go in a different direction. They're not going to crash and burn a valuable asset just to exit the U.S. wireless market though. They'll try to sell it off somewhere instead (being careful to maintain it's value in the mean while), or perhaps spin it out and sell it one share at a time.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428538)

Who is DK? Did your brain pass gas? Was it smelly?

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (4, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428190)

From Sprint subscribers, too. T-Mobile's our lifeboat and sanctuary if Sprint becomes evil someday.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429024)

Yes. very much rejoicing!!!

A current t-mobile customer, and former abused att customer.

Re:And there was much rejoicing !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429238)

YES!!! Suck it AT&Terrible!!!!!

AT&T Officially Ends Plans to Be a Monopoly Ag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427804)

For now.

yay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427818)

and there was much rejoicing

What says they won't try another way? (5, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427826)

It just seems odd that AT&T would let a leak stop them from acquiring T-Mobile.

As a very satisfied T-Mobile customer with flat-rate 3G, I'm not going to put it beyond AT&T to try some less-visible route to get rid of the only national carrier that doesn't try to meter data.

Re:What says they won't try another way? (1)

essjaytee (141772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427976)

I'm pretty sure Sprint doesn't meter data either. They proudly proclaim the fact on their ads that they have truly unlimited data.
-ST

Re:What says they won't try another way? (2)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428236)

Sprint has been known to send nastygrams to subscribers who *egregiously* go over 5gb, month after month after month, and occasionally fires customers who are out of contract and do it... but it's pretty rare. You have to abuse Sprint and data pretty badly and be a total pain to get dumped as a customer, especially if you're on a full-priced individual Android plan. The people who really end up on Sprint's hit list are the ones who somehow managed to stack discounts over the years and now pay something ridiculous, like $80/month for a half-dozen lines, and somehow manage to use unbelievable numbers of minutes and megabytes from all of them month after month.

Why link to a story which only rehashes the press (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427838)

The story just rehashes the press release by AT&T.

And by the time the story got to Slashdot, others have already written decent stories about it - those would have made much better links.

The business perspective [bloomberg.com] .

The regular news [nytimes.com]

And the tech perspective [arstechnica.com]

Best news for a while (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427842)

T-Mobile is the ONE operator that's pro-openness. GSM (bring your own device) from the start, no restrictions on how you use data, until the AT&T stuff started they even offered low cost, subsidy free, contract free talk plans. There's a reason it was T-Mo, and not AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, who Google picked to launch Android.

Re:Best news for a while (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427918)

I'd agree. That, and if you had a good plan, you got to keep your good plan - even if you did things that would cause AT&T to switch your plan to a worse one.

Re:Best news for a while (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427958)

Who gives a fuck? Android is for low life faggots who can't afford a real phone.
 
Fuck open sores too.

Re:Best news for a while (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428124)

Even better: MetroPCS has unlimited data for cheap, lets you activate any CDMA device you like, and has no fixed-length service contracts.

Re:Best news for a while (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428170)

CDMA, and it doesn't allow tethering...

Trust me, I've done the research, as a T-Mobile customer looking for an exit. All the other choices, ALL OF THEM, sucked. MetroPCS until recently were, with Cricket, one of the most locked down operators, but they're opening up a little with the move to LTE. I don't trust their culture to keep at it for now any more than I trust Verizon.

Re:Best news for a while (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428222)

No one gives a fuck what you think, bitch. Just go back to sucking that open sores dick.

Re:Best news for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429362)

Missing the Steve pretty bad, are we?

Re:Best news for a while (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428732)

Do they still use DPI to intercept "media" downloads that might be used to egregiously abuse their network by getting ringtones and wallpapers without jumping through their stupid "locker" hoops or buying it from them?

Re:Best news for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428568)

And to think that here in Germany, T-Mobile is the least favourite one because of their government bureaucracy past, high prices and service that is best compared with the US DMV. ^^

I wonder what would happen, if somebody with really great offers would successfully enter the US market...
One who offers zero-restriction (including tethering and plain vanilla OS) high-speed 4G pre-paid SIM cards where you could buy xGB of data for $y deals, and on top of that have the ability to get separate phone-only financing plans, both at good prices. (Yes, here in Germany, there are a couple of those. Restrictions are a taboo here anyway. And the EU even fined Germany a 9-figure sum because they didn't prevent Deutsche Telekom's monopolistic tendencies enough.)

Sued and lobbied out of existence for some imaginary bullshit?
Because otherwise, they'd take over the market in no time!

Re:Best news for a while (4, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428818)

AT&T would shit themselves if some of the plans you can get in Canada were made available in the US, let alone a European or a Japanese plan.

To put things in perspective for our American friends, from a carrier like Mobilicity (one of the newer startups, only available in big cities at the moment), you can get unlimited Canada/US talk, global texting, call display, voicemail, 3-way calling, and unlimited data (including tethering) for $55/mo. If you pre-pay the year in advance it comes to about $35/mo (and that's not a special offer... the holiday special offer that's on right now is $27.50/mo for the first 6 months, or 12 months if you put it on automatic preauthorized payments). You can bring your own phone if you like, or you can buy an Android phone from them for as little as $169, and that's without a term contract. Their coverage is good as long as you don't leave the big city, and if you do leave the city, you'll roam on one of the national networks.

And if you'd rather have a plan on the national network, I am paying $40/mo for my smartphone plan... it's not unlimited data (it's a flex plan, $5/mo is the minimum data level, which I'm usually on, but it goes up to $30/mo for 3GB, tethering included even at the $5/mo level), and it's only 150 anytime minutes, but I have unlimited evenings/weekends @ 5pm-8am (which is basically unlimited talk when you're at work M-F 9-5), and unlimited long distance, as well as global texting, call display, voicemail, 3-way calling, etc. That's with Koodo, which is a fight brand wholly owned by Telus, which is one of the big 3 carriers.

And at this point, the Americans are probably saying "holy shit, you can get a plan like those in Canada?". And the Europeans and Japanese are saying "holy shit, people actually pay that much?"

Re:Best news for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429232)

Do most cell phone users in canada have no contract plans or r they under contract?

Re:Best news for a while (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429650)

Most *users* are on a contract, because they would rather get an iPhone for $0.99 rather than actually paying what it's worth. That said, there is legislation in the works to change the way cell carriers can handle early termination of the contract, and that's likely to change the contract situation.

All *carriers* offer no-contract options on their plans, and none of them require you to be on a contract to get a good plan. For just about all of the ones that subsidize phones at all, your choice is let them subsidize the phone purchase in return for locking into a term, or buy the phone outright and get the same plan but without a minimum term or penalties for canceling. Some carriers have a "tab" instead of a term contract, where they'll subsidize the cost of your phone, but instead of requiring you to be with them for X years, a portion of your monthly bill gets applied to paying off the tab (not raising the monthly bill, just that you get credit for say 10% of your monthly bill towards the tab), and if you still owe on the tab when you cancel, you pay off the rest of the tab and call it even. Some carriers just don't subsidize phones, and those are usually the cheaper options.

HA! (5, Insightful)

autocracy (192714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427864)

Bite me, AT&T. Auto repair is competitive.

  * Cell phones in the US have a small pool of providers, especially the nation-wide crowd.
  * They primarily operate with 2 year contracts, and it's hard to get a phone without one.
  * There's a financial disincentive for buying a phone without a contract.
  * Text message rates (for which there is very little data usage, being measured in bytes) have been increasing.
  * Data plans have been increasing in price and providing tighter bandwidth restrictions at the same time.

I loathe AT&T, and I'm stuck with them. Competitive? I'd get out in a heartbeat if I felt I had somewhere to go. T-Mobile has been the closest saving grace to AT&T, so I really don't want to see that absorbed.

Thanks to the Fed did -- they did one right there.

Re:HA! (1)

wickedskaman (1105337) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427948)

Is there no Verizon or Sprint in your area?

Re:HA! (2)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428682)

Verizon and Sprint are—or should be—no-gos for anybody even thinking about ever visiting outside North America.

Re:HA! (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428740)

There are some dual-mode phones that use CDMA on Verizon or Sprint (in the US) but have n unlocked GSM SIM slot as well (for use overseas). I'd be willing to do business with Sprint (not a fan of Verizon) with one of those phones, but so long as a tolerably non-evil pure GSM provider exists, why bother?

Re:HA! (1)

ulbador (541826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429438)

I have a friend who spends about half the year overseas and and he was stuck with AT&T for this very reason. At the same time, he recently switched because Verizon is WAAAAY more competitive with their global market than AT&T (if you have a CDMA phone with GSM)

Re:HA! (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429684)

Why not just buy a pre-paid phone in the other country when you get there? Having a phone for each state in the US would be annoying, especially in the north-east, but how often do cross planet-spanning bodies of water? Is it really so frequent that it matters?

Re:HA! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428014)

Stuck? Why not go prepaid with an MVNO?

Page Plus - On Verizon network (CDMA). $30/mo for 1200min/3000txt/100mb data. $55/mo for unlimited talk and text, 500mb data. Bring your own device.
Virgin Mobile - On Sprint network (CDMA). $45/mo for 1200min, unlimited text/data. Android phones start at $99 and go up.
Simple Mobile - On T-Mobile network (GSM). $40/mo for unlimited talk/text/data (EDGE). $60/mo for unlimited talk/text/data (HSPA). Bring your own device (buy a SIM only), or buy an Android phone starting at $129 and up.
H2O Wireless - On AT&T network (GSM). $50/mo for unlimited talk/text, 250MB data. $60/mo for unlimited talk/text, 2GB data. Bring your own device (buy a SIM only), or buy an Android phone (LG Neon) for $79.

Data plans are also available (with purchase of ~$99 USB dongle):
Virgin Mobile Broadband - (Sprint/CDMA) - $50 for Unlimited data/1 month (4G for first 2.5GB, 3G after).
Simple Mobile - (T-Mobile/GSM) - $45 for 2GB/1 month (4G).
H2O Wireless - (AT&T/GSM) - $50 for for Unlimited data/1 month (4G).

Re:HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428068)

You must be an active member of howardforums.com or slickdeals.net ;-)

Re:HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428168)

Virgin Mobile isn't a MVNO, they are wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint.

Re:HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428288)

As mediocre as Sprint's data rates tend to be, they're almost always better than Virgin's. In most places (especially suburbia and rural areas), Virgin customers basically get Sprint's sloppy seconds -- they ride on the same towers and backhaul, but Sprint QoSes them into second-class status.

Re:HA! (2)

Doogie5526 (737968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428324)

Maybe it's just me being picky and not a competition issue...but I rarely get close to 400min/mo. That's the smallest plan offered (unless I'm a senior) and I pay $39. I have a smart phone, but don't have a data plan (use wifi only)--but would love to have one. I think a data plan would cost another $20-30 (about $70 total before taxes).

None of those plans would really fit my needs. What I would prefer is similar to what I saw in London; a pay-as-you-go talk and data system. Nobody in the US has pay-as-you-go data and the pay-as-you-go talk stuff has weird rules where things expire at the end of the month or you get charged a dollar a day.

I'm willing to believe that I'm an outlier and one of the few who can look past that impulse to pay nothing up front in exchange for a contract and high monthly bill.

Re:HA! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428894)

Did you read the post you replied to? According to it, for $1-$6 more per month, you could have enough minutes and also unlimited data via either Virgin Mobile or Simple Mobile. Additionally, what the grandparent post didn't mention is that Virgin has a $35/month ($4 less) plan with 300 minutes and still unlimited data, which sounds like it would fit you perfectly (since Virgin is prepaid, if you happen to run out of minutes then you just reload your account and effectively start the next month early -- there are no weird per-day fees).

Re:HA! (1)

Doogie5526 (737968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429068)

*embarrassed* I read them over but missed the data options mixed with the voice plans. About 6months ago I went over all of the options I knew about and was frustratingly disappointed.

Thanks for reading more carefully than I did. I'm looking to sign up with one of these guys after work today.

Re:HA! (1)

eozh (523586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428668)

Don't forget AT&T's own Pay As You Go operation. 10c/min and 500 MB for $25 that rolls over if you add at least $5 worth of data every month.

Re:HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429172)

Don't forget boost mobile

Re:HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428080)

text message being measured in bytes? where the hell did that com from? lol.

Re:HA! (1)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428516)

Well 160 characters per text message, assuming ASCII = 160 * 1byte + Overhead = ~160 bytes + overhead

If we only use a subset or non-standard set of ASCII you could potentially compress to 2 characters per byte so = 160 * 0.5 + overhead = ~80 bytes + overhead

Non-US customers with more extensive languages would be 2 bytes per character (UNICODE) = 160 * 2 + overhead = ~320 bytes + overhead

So for 1 text message, he is right, bytes, but for a lot of text message lets say 1000 per billing cycle:

best case (Compressed ASCII) = ~78kilobytes + (overhead * 1000)
worst case (UNICODE)= ~312.5kilobytes + ( overhead * 1000 )
other case = ~156kilobytes + (overhead * 1000)

You tell me, kilobytes? Nothing compared to data plans though.

I am not affiliated with ANY wireless company, just someone that can do math.

Re:HA! (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428904)

"Stuck with" AT&T huh? I feel your pain; I was stuck on a family plan for ten years with that God-awful mess that is AT&T, because everyone in the family kept renewing their two-year contracts at different times, and everyone was afraid to take the early termination fee hit.

Finally I just did the math and legwork myself and forced the rest of the family to take the plunge with me; turns out that even with ETFs and having to buy our handsets outright we're going to save hundreds of dollars over the next two years by switching to T-mobile. Free at last, free at last!

Re:HA! (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429534)

* There's a financial disincentive for buying a phone without a contract.

I beg to differ. You might have been fooled into thinking the phone itself is cheaper with a contract, but take a look at the total cost over a couple years even after buying the phone at full price.

It still hurt T-Mobile bad (2)

mamono (706685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427868)

I know a lot of people who's contracts were up and jumped ship on the news that AT&T was going to buy them. I don't know the percentage but every T-Mobile subscriber I know all moved to other carriers when they heard the initial announcement.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (4, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427904)

That is why AT&T is going to pay them around 3 Billion in compensation.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (3, Interesting)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428458)

I know a lot of people who's contracts were up and jumped ship on the news that AT&T was going to buy them. I don't know the percentage but every T-Mobile subscriber I know all moved to other carriers when they heard the initial announcement

That is why AT&T is going to pay them around 3 Billion in compensation.

So, T-Mobile is undersubscribed, (Wee, bandwidth!) and gets 3 billion to build up their network with... Invest 85/15% in infrastructure / the advertising campaign they're gonna need, and they might well become a significant player on the US market again, wouldn't you say?

And full speed LTE on a carrier with a solid network is a beautiful thing.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429376)

Incorrect - Deutsche Telecom gets $6B, NOT T-Mo. You think DT is going to roll that back into the US market? Nope - it's money that's going overseas and staying there.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428004)

On the other hand my wife and I were holding off on merging our cell accounts into one account because of the threat of a merger. Now that the threat is over we can get her off of AT&T, and get her a new phone.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428596)

I know a lot of people who's contracts were up and jumped ship on the news that AT&T was going to buy them. I don't know the percentage but every T-Mobile subscriber I know all moved to other carriers when they heard the initial announcement.

I actually switched from Sprint to T-Mobile 2 months ago, despite the AT&T news. I can see how the news could turn people off to T-Mo, and I'm not saying it didn't hurt them, but they still have the best value IMO, which is what attracted me and possibly others.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (2)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428972)

I jumped the other way, actually. I wanted to have a grandfathered T-mobile plan on AT&T's network. :D

But now that I made the switch I am so happy. I have had a couple of coverage issues since making the switch, like not being able to get a signal when I was in Yosemite, but I'm saving so much on my bill, and the customer service is so much better, it's just not a big deal to me.

Re:It still hurt T-Mobile bad (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429330)

every T-Mobile subscriber I know all moved to other carriers when they heard the initial announcement.

Now that's just stupid. Why jump just because they COULD be bought? It's not like AT&T can prevent them from leaving once they take over, and porting a number takes about 24-48 hours these days.

Hooray! (2)

aaronrp (773980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427870)

Our cell phone oligopoly will have four participants instead of three!

Re:Hooray! (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428128)

US Cellular, MetroPCS, and other smaller carriers have significant market share in the areas that they're available.

Re:Hooray! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429038)

Yes, subscribing customers that the others won't touch, or have already done business with and won't do business with again. Have you seen the pricing on US Cellular or MetroPCS? Hilarity.

AT&T Attitude Problem Hasn't Changed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427872)

"We own our customers." has been the attitude for decades.

Has anybody forgotten their CEO's "my pipes" speech with the subtext of "That's a nice internet connection you have. Be a shame if anything happened to it."?

Sitting on their hands (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427880)

Seems to me like they're sitting on their hands to avoid taking the responsibility for over subscription and lack of capacity planning.

I beg to differ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427914)

" It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world"

Strictly speaking, I cannot say how it compares to other industries, but we can look at how the industry itself operates to get an idea of how true that statement is: http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE9_2_3.pdf

So, with those facts in mind, I would bet that this press release comment is not actually true.

Good news (4, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427928)

There is a reason that AT&T was broken up 25 or so years ago. Those reasons still hold true. They were the worst service and most dishonest company around in the 70's. I have not dealt with them since I was given a choice and never would again. They don't need to buy other companies and become bigger.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428094)

The new AT&T is eviler than the old AT&T

Re:Good news (2)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428462)

Too bad the current AT&T isn't the AT&T from the 1970's. It is SBC, which was one of the baby-bell spinoffs from when AT&T was broken up. They bought a bunch of the other spinoffs and splits, etc., over the years, and a couple years back, bought AT&T, and then renamed themselves AT&T since it was the more widely known name (and they owned it so they could do whatever they wanted). So, the current AT&T is actually one of the spin offs that AT&T that you hated was broken up into....

Re:Good news (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428794)

Too bad the current AT&T isn't the AT&T from the 1970's.

True. But they seem to be trying to make the old AT&T look like... uhh... some less evil, cutthroat bunch of bastards (wish I could think of any that weren't small game studios... )

Re:Good news (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428936)

Too bad the current AT&T isn't the AT&T from the 1970's. It is SBC, which was one of the baby-bell spinoffs from when AT&T was broken up. [...] So, the current AT&T is actually one of the spin offs that AT&T that you hated was broken up into....

So you're saying that the current AT&T actually is the old AT&T, since it's made up of one of the splinters of the old AT&T which has bought most of the other pieces of the old AT&T? Thanks for clearing that up for us.

Re:Good news (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428550)

I hope that you are not using Verizon now, because that would be ironic. It is still hard to get away from AT&T. it is just now they have more names.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38429642)

There is a reason that AT&T was broken up 25 or so years ago.

Yes, and the reason is that it was proven to be a monopoly. Specifically, your telephone equipment had to be leased or purchased from good ol' Ma Bell.

I really don't think those reasons hold true anymore, but whatever. Our retarded /. mods modded you to +5 Insightful, anyway. Though, you didn't say anything insightful.

I was a T-Mobile guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427940)

up until last week. Used a jailbroken iPhone for 3 years. Moved to Verizon.

I had no idea what I was missing. Full bars everywhere I go now, where I'd have dead spots all over the rural area I live with T-Mobile. They always had great customer service, but I couldn't even get Edge where I live.

When the merger was in full swing, I was calling about some unrelated issue, and mentioned the merger. I said I wasn't a fan, and that I'd like the merger not to go through. She gave me a well-rehearsed script about how it would benefit everyone everywhere, make bread smell better, and flowers bloom longer, and I mentioned the fact that ATT was first to give up info in the warrantless wiretapping scandal, and that T-Mobile didn't, and if the merger went through, I would be leaving.

She didn't know that, and said that I was the first person ever to bring that up. *sigh*

Short v. Long Term (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427942)

The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution

Boy, howdy, AT&T, you can say that again. It is unexpectedly honest of you to recognized that this could only be considered a good thing in the interim. Surely would have been a loss to our information infrastructure in the long run, but you are right that it may have smoothed out the short run a bit. How an honest person managed to slip a hint of truth into your deceptioneering is beyond me.

Whoever wrote that bit, well done. Rest assured that there are people out here who caught your little wink and nod in that phrasing. Nice work.

Holy Crap.... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427968)

The FCC and DOJ actually stopped a merger that would be bad for the consumer?
This has got to be a trick or I am dreaming.
Next thing you know the FCC will make Cable companies offer channels alacart and not charge extra for local HD channels over SD channels.

Re:Holy Crap.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428006)

It seems that Obama forgot to capitulate on something. I agree that it's very confusing.

Thus sayeth AT&T (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427988)

"If we cannot reassemble our monopoly, it's bad for everyone!" We're dominating you, enshrining ourselves in legal scripture, raising your prices and smashing your service quality FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

Think of the poor customers. (3, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428112)

The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.

And I bet the grapes were sour too.

Spectrum shortage? (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428114)

Or just a lack of innovation shortage?

With an appropriate network topology, adding more and more nodes to a network increases your overall bandwidth, not decreases it.

Of course, with enough innovation like this, who needs a centralized carrier model anyway?

It will be interesting to see which major carriers adapt to a decentralized model, and which ones die fighting it.

AMERICANS NOT COMPLETELY OWNED BY CORP YET !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38428174)

But give it time. Give it time. ATT is waiting for the next bought-and-paid-for (Republican-run government) and it will be back. Just wait. Give it time.

Infastructure? (1)

lindoran (1190189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428302)

If AT&T is truely worried about ifastructure they can pony up and over build T-Mobile if they chose. Its lame that they would use that as an excuse to justify a blatiant power grab. Good on you DOJ you don't often get things right.

Increased Cellphone Plans? (1)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428530)

"The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled"

So does this mean AT&T just gave themselves a reason to increase cellphone plans???

Verizon Found a Better Way (2)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428540)

This probably had something to do with it. Verizon found a way to buy as much spectrum as they wanted while jumping through way less regulation hurdles. http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/12/verizon-buys-up-spectrum/2/ [wired.com]

Re:Verizon Found a Better Way (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38428876)

Actually it says it had to go through the same hurdles, but it was less likely to be turned down because they aren't gobbling up a competitor.

As an AT&T customer I really get sick of how poorly the service works at my work. Oh if I go outside its a bit different but if I'm inside the usable spectrum drops drastically and when you get... I don't know, 4 thousand subscribers in a single cell, you don't really get any throughput. Adding spectrum wouldn't certainly help, especially if its on the lower frequencies that travel through walls better.

A likely outcome... (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38429272)

Sprint will renew their offer to buy T-Mobile, and possibly sell some spectrum to AT&T and/or Verizon in markets where Sprint + T-Mobile has more spectrum than they need. That would make almost everyone happy (maybe not some T-Mobile customers). AT&T will complain, but that's just because they don't want anything that might make Sprint a stronger competitor. Verizon probably won't object. Just my $0.02 of speculation.

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