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AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'Not In the Public Interest' 190

jfruhlinger writes "AT&T's plan to merge with T-Mobile just hit a pretty big snag. The FCC declared the merger would be anti-competitive and not in the public interest." According to the NY Times, the FCC seeks to hold a hearing before an administrative law judge in which the burden would be upon AT&T to prove the deal isn't anti-competitive.
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AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'Not In the Public Interest'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:13PM (#38142490)

    Unfortunately, the FCC can shout all they want, but they have no say in the merger at this point. It is the SEC who is going to rubber stamp the merger. After last year, the FCC pretty much can go after pirate radio stations, but essentially that is it in their enforcing abilities. Stopping a merger? Not their bailiwick.

  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:18PM (#38142550)

    This is not in the public interest but allowing fragmentation of cellular standards between GSM/HSPA and CDMA was in the public interest by allowing the major carriers to offer incompatible services so that they did not have to directly compete with each other was? Was it in the public interest to allow a a further fragmentation of GSM/HSPA between standard HSPA with AT&T and AWS for T-Mobile? Was it in the public interest to allow further fragmentation of CDMA with Sprint going early with CDMA + WiMax?

    The major carriers could have all agreed to use HSPA years ago and shared the standard frequencies used in Canada just like how Canada has Telus, Bell, Rogers and smaller virtual carriers all operating HSPA frequency networks compatible with the iPhone and other popular handsets.

  • by x1r8a3k ( 1170111 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:18PM (#38142554)
    Alltel had about 800,000 customers.
    T-Mobil has 33,000,000.
    Not really on the same scale there.
  • AT&T mouthpiece (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:18PM (#38142556) Journal

    Larry Solomon, senior vice president of corporate communications at AT&T, called the F.C.C.’s action “disappointing.”

    “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both,”

    Just because AT&T continues to say that the deal would result in investment does make it true. If they were interested in investing in infrastructure and jobs, they would do it. Instead they want to buy T-Mobile, loot whatever is left in their coffers and lay off all of their workers.

    When an organization as corrupt as the United States government is coming out against a deal, you can be certain that something is rotten in Denmark.

  • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:24PM (#38142626)

    Who cares if she negatively affects fat girls' self image? She's banging hot!

  • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:24PM (#38142630)

    So you feel that "disproportionately-skinny and negatively-affecting female self-image chicks are clearly in the public interest"? Chauvinist bastard!

  • Re:I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:27PM (#38142664)

    Some people are just skinny and hating on them is no better than hating on fat people. A poor self-image isn't the fault of anyone who just happens to look different.

  • by linuxguy ( 98493 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:31PM (#38142722) Homepage

    Once the business friendly Republicans win more elections, all of this will be reversed. AT&T needs to start bribing / donating some big bucks in that direction to make it happen.

  • by LeperPuppet ( 1591409 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:50PM (#38142908)
    Why does someone have to buy T-Mobile?
  • Re:AT&T mouthpiece (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:58PM (#38142990)

    I think the relevant bit here is that there are some lies that are so big that even government agencies can't look the other way. This would be one of them. AT&T would have brought a bunch of low paying call center jobs back to the US and laid off a significant number of technicians that would no longer be needed to maintain the duplicate infrastructure.

    I'm not sure how anybody could possibly buy the notion that prices would go down when competition is reduced form 4 to 3 companies. And probably from there to 2 companies.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:01PM (#38143016)

    Vertical integration isn't illegal provided that the company doesn't use it to harm the competition. Amazon right now represents a vertically integrated publisher where they own all steps from production to distribution and in some cases even the reader you read on. They haven't been sued for antitrust violations nor will they likely any time soon as they're still disrupting the industry and bringing more competition to the market.

    Depending upon how Google handled it they could definitely bring competition via a vertical monopoly. Remember being a monopoly isn't illegal, abusing market position is.

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:30PM (#38143282)

    They let the market sort it out. I might not have been the best approach from a technical point of view, but from a capitalistic point of view it was fine.

    No, it wasn't "fine" from a free market point of view either. In order to have an efficient market, people need to be able to make choices.

    Expecting the government to make educated decisions when it comes to technology is unrealistic.

    The government didn't have to guess, it could simply have forced companies to pick a common standard. Furthermore, given how far behind the US is with deploying these technologies, all they needed to do is to look what worked elsewhere.

    Generally, this kind of government intervention is undesirable. But for mobile phones, the existing system clearly is not working well.

  • Re:I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mgblst ( 80109 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:36PM (#38143326) Homepage

    oh sorry, you must be American. not used to seeing non-obese people i guess.

  • Re:I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @08:37PM (#38143338)

    So you feel that "disproportionately-skinny and negatively-affecting female self-image chicks are clearly in the public interest"? Chauvinist bastard!

    Considering the average dress size in the US is 14, just about any healthy girl would be disproportionately-skinny.

  • Re:I agree (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:07PM (#38143572)
    It's sad that you mistake "fat rolls" for "curves". She's got plenty of curves in all the right places. What she doesn't have is a muffin top and a sagging gut - now if you find that look sexy, hey man, whatever gets you off. But she's damn hot - and part of why she's so hot is that she comes across as genuinely friendly, not just a girl being paid to act friendly.
  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:13PM (#38143606)

    you have to rent your home phone?

    And the major cell carriers have continued that business model by getting most people to rent their cell phones. It's not like my cell phone bill is reduced after my 2 year contract term is up and my phone subsidy is supposedly paid off.

    Except on T-Mobile where on their value plans, you actually do save money when the phone is paid off.

  • Re:I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:01PM (#38143990)

    As an American, I miss the days when women weren't all obese. It hasn't always been like that over here.

  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:10PM (#38144060) Homepage Journal
    I heard that T-Mobile wants to rid themselves of their US division. If it isn't making enough revenue to be kept on the books, it probably isn't doing well enough to stand on its own either. Which likely means it will just fold up completely.

    Hence either T-Mobile is bought out by AT&T and we have one fewer carrier, or T-Mobile goes under and we have one fewer carrier. It seems like we might at least preserve a few jobs with option number one that would otherwise be lost with option number two. The other main carriers don't want to buy a GSM provider, it doesn't make technological sense. They just want a shot at picking off some T-Mobile customers that they might not otherwise get if AT&T buys them out.
  • Re:AT&T mouthpiece (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:36PM (#38144198) Journal

    So AT&T's failure to develop an adequate 5 year plan that addresses the needs of the market is the FCC's problem? The only reason they "need" T-Mobile's towers (at least given the argument that you laid out) is because AT&T cannot plan ahead.

    Welcome to corporate America, where very few seem capable of seeing past next quarter.

    You should go to work for AT&T. Seriously. If what you say is true, you would not be doing any worse than the "experts" that AT&T currently has on the payroll who are trying to influence the government with regards to this deal.

  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:32AM (#38144902)

    I'm not kidding, though I wish I were. Just listen to what the Republican candidates have been saying.

    No FDA doesn't mean drug legalization either; they can still ban any drug they want (i.e. marijuana) with a simple law from Congress; as marijuana and the others are presumably already banned this way, abolishing the FDA won't change that. It'll just mean that all our food will no longer be checked for quality or safety, so we'll all be eating Chinese-sourced food loaded with melamine, we'll have e.coli in our meats, etc.

    Getting rid of the EPA is entirely feasible. Sure, it'll mean pollution like what London had back in the 1800s, but by the time people finally get sick of it and try to make a change, it'll be too late.

    Yes, I understand this all seems crazy, but I'm just going by what our Presidential candidates themselves are saying. These people seem to be very popular these days, so I see no reason to doubt some of this stuff may very well come true. Just look at how Americans have been voting over the past decade or two; they're obviously not a very bright bunch.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.