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AT&T Could Shed T-Mobile Spectrum As Condition
Suggesting That They Probably Never Needed Most Of it
by Karl Bode 08:33AM Tuesday Mar 22 2011
With the shock of AT&T's surprise announcement of their acquisition of T-Mobile now waning, the focus now becomes not whether or not regulators approve the deal (approval is all but given in this regulatory climate), but what kind of conditions are imposed on the new merged company. The new company would kill a major competitor, and leave AT&T with a 43% share of the mobile market and more than 130 million subscribers. Reuters notes that should the deal run into approval problems, AT&T is prepared to pay a $3 billion breakup fee and shed a significant chunk of T-Mobile spectrum. As we noted yesterday with the exception of a few markets, AT&T doesn't really need T-Mobile's spectrum, so this isn't much of a condition. Expect regulators to pin an unreasonable amount of hope on Lightsquared's LTE ambitions as justification for deal approval.

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