dslreports logo

story category
Anon FCC Official: AT&T Deal Faces 'Steep Climb'
Though AT&T Lobbyists May Have Something To Say About That
by Karl Bode 08:17AM Friday Mar 25 2011
An anonymous FCC official tells the Wall Street Journal that there's no way the AT&T and T-Mobile merger will be "rubber stamped" by the agency, and that the deal will be a "steep climb" to say the least. The agency isn't commenting on the record yet and hasn't even begun their formal review of the deal, which would give AT&T a 43% share of the wireless market. The problem of course is that the FCC generally does rubber stamp such deals, often applying conditions that offer the illusion of an interest in consumer welfare -- but which usually don't require the companies to do anything they hadn't planned to do already. Given the level of scrutiny that will surround this deal, that might prove more difficult this time around -- though some analysts think AT&T might not want all of T-Mobile anyway.

topics flat nest 

Cleveland, OH


This will pass as it always does. The FCC doesn't do anything but say "okay sounds good if you do --- blah blah blah" and done.

This is why the FCC needs to GO! And anonymous sources and officials are a bunch of people that don't know crap. Maybe we should start requiring names before putting their crap out because we've seen how wrong it is over the last few weeks. T-Mobile USA - Sprint Nextel Merger anyone? They've been saying that for YEARS from "anonymous sources" inside the company. Sales reps and cleaning staff that's all those people are.

united state


DirectTV and Dishnetwork did not Pass. Two DBS Carriers. In theory the last two GSM Carriers should not pass.

West Tenness


said by Kommie:

DirectTV and Dishnetwork did not Pass. Two DBS Carriers. In theory the last two GSM Carriers should not pass.

A) the FCC won't seperate GSM from CDMA. They'll see at&t Verizon, Sprint and other companies like Tracfone.

B) Satellite radio was allowed to merge.

Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Philly burbs


While I don't disagree with you on the GSM and CDMA stance, the satellite radio comparison is apples and oranges.

AT&T is a financially strong company, T Mobile not so much, but still economically viable. When Sirius and XM merged both companies were financially compromised by an expensive "war for talent" that left them crippled and had they not merged, one or both may have folded completely.

In the end, someone will get "shown the money" and the interests of the people will lose out. It's what happens in America anymore, regardless of who's running the show.....
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power



DT is ready to dump T-Mobile USA on someone as keeping a money losing operation isn't going to be tolerated by their shareholders.

Do you really think T-mobile customers will be better off with a company like Sprint who completely botched the Nextel merger and are losing those customers regularly?

As a t-mobile customer, there's no way for my interests to be completely protected since the company is terribly managed. At least there's some chance i won't get totally screwed by AT&T.

Binghamton, NY


T-Mobile USA is a "money losing operation"?


The thoroughly corrupt US Justice department will also allow it to pass.

thrudd on BB



US Justice department?
Is that not an Oxy-Moron?

Tavistock NJ

Low level staffer with axe to grind with Chairman FCC

"There's no way the chairman's office rubber-stamps this transaction. It will be a steep climb to say the least," said an FCC official on Wednesday. The official declined to comment on the record. The official stressed that the agency hasn't even begun to formally evaluate AT&T's proposal and will examine the deal on its merits and whether it's in the public interest.
Sounds like a non-political staffer who doesn't like the politics that goes on at the FCC Commissioner level and is trying to short circuit the usual decision making methods.
Record your speedtest.net results in DSLReports SpeedWave

Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Mount Airy, MD

Come On

Why is the FCC even pretending that this merger won't be rubber stamped to approval the same way every other merger over which they had a say was?

Heck, the fact that the FCC has never once exercised its regulatory authority to stop a major merger in recent years shows that it clearly doesn't need that authority.
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

Wichita, KS


T-Mobile subscribers, be careful what you wish for. You may not have to leave, you may well be jetisoned like a flaming rag-draped rock from a roman catapault.


Glen Head, NY


Not "Rubber Stamped"? If anything, it means AT&T will have to grease a few more palms than they had already planned to. The FCC will (to quote Bart Simpson) "fold faster than Superman on laundry day".

As a customer of T-Mobile, I am not happy at all with this merger. While I dislike using the word "hate" in any context, I can usually make an exception when it comes to discussing AT&T and their business practices. The only thing that has kept AT&T from being even more unpleasant has been competition and iPhone exclusivity. I have no desire to migrate to VZW, in part due their "me too" overpriced plans, or Sprint as I am a fan of unlocked phones and SIM cards. If when this merger goes through, we will be just like Canada with only ONE nationwide GSM carrier. Then get ready for three-year contracts, no more nationwide long distance, even higher data rate and higher SMS charges.
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

West Tenness

Anon FCC Official: AT&T Deal Faces 'Steep Climb'

translation: "Hey at&t, we want more money"

Canonsburg, PA

FCC's Last Stand

The FCC might as well be General Custer at Little Big Horn because they will undoubtedly give up all their power to AT&T. Of course the FCC Commissioners won't really die, it will just be AT&T saying "Roll over FCC, that's a good FCC, play dead FCC"

Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Philly burbs

Re: FCC's Last Stand

Who's a good FCC? Want a Beggin' Strip, FCC? That's a good FCC....
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power

Only if....

As a consumer, I will approve of this merger only if AT&T agrees to provide U-verse to 100% of customers within their territory. As such, they don't even give my poor self DSL and I live in a middle class subdivision. And I understand this is a merger with a wireless phone company.

Sunnyvale, CA

nd in exh a vote o unding ix mil dollars

This isn't a deal to be quickly approved by the FCC. Bribe negotiations are moving slowly due to poor call quality.

Washington, DC

What's the law say?

I'm all for preventing AT&T from becoming more powerful, but it should be done for good reasons within the law. Without clear standards, it's just as easy for the government to say "yes", ignoring the facts, as "no".

The way I see it, the cooperation of AT&T and NSA is too much like WW2 Italy. Government and biz should not have these cozy relationships.

I'm pretty sad about it, we like T-mobile, the bill is lower than AT&T, and customer service has been great.

Bill Neilson
Arlington, VA

As usual, both companies will make minor changes

so they sound better in public

Then business as usual once passed as consumers get zero protections

Brooklyn, NY
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

uverse repuation

live by the metro pcs competitor, die by the uverse rep.

millions of customers would have had faster and cheaper dsl and/or fttp by now if it weren't for AT&T buying Bell South... I'm sure lots of those people might have something to say before AT&T ruins another company. buying tmobile to gut the assets for cell towers & compatible equipment is not in the public's interest for competition, better service and lower prices. there isn't enough of an iron clad contract that AT&T can promise to make this seem right in the public's view.

you want a competent competitor to Verizon, push other companies to merge, just not with AT&T or Verizon.


The only people to make a square peg fit in a round hole

ATT, as far as major corporations in the US, is probably the most influential when it comes to Washington.

While on paper it doesn't look like it will pass, it will pass. There will be concessions, divestitures, but it will end up going through in the end. Even good ol' Barry might force it to go through, for nationwide broadband's sake.

Kernersville, NC

Meet the old Boss Same as the old Boss

SBC wearing an AT&T hat is trying to reestablish the monopoly that was broken up in the 80s. Only this time there is much more to lose. AT&T is already stifiling the growth of the internet with its caps on data service. Who knows whats next if this is allowed to happen.



As an AT&T customer, I hope this goes through quickly, but with some pro-consumer mandates on billing, contracts, and the like.



4 years AGO they "EASILY" made the 'Steep Climb'

Didn't 4 years ago when they bought BellSouth, they promised cheap ADSL internet for 2 years which was impossible to order, and promised network upgrades which never happened & quickly let ADSL service become a legacy product and promoted the expensive bundled service called "UVerse" instead.

I'm sure they are going to repeat this by offering low cost unadvertised unreliable service on their GSM(2G) net for 2 years, then in the meantime their 3G/4G/LTE packages offers reliability, speed and features.

Yorkville, IL

This too will pass

AT&T will get what they want with few if any real consumer protection concessions. Once the FCC allows AT&T/T-Mobile, they won't be able to prevent Verizon buying Sprint on "fairness" grounds. Within 2 years we'll be one more merger away from the return of the Bell System (minus Bell Labs and Western Electric (Lucent)).

A duopoly plus a geographic monopoly from your local cable provider will get us back to Michael Porter's "Rule of Three" where there are only 3 real players in a market, even if there are many small niche players with insignificant market power. This is optimal from the perspective of the businesses. Too bad it sucks for consumers, employees, and individual taxpayers but that is the "free market" as defined by corporations.