AT&T announced the $780 million acquisition back in January, but it appears that the FCC may have some concerns about approving the deal. In a filing this week, the FCC stated they would be stopping the shot clock on the agency's informal 180-day review period, roughly 175 days into the review. Why? The FCC isn't satisfied with AT&T's proposals aimed at helping move prepaid Alltel customers onto a new network, claiming they're not getting enough information from the cellular giant.
From a letter from the agency to AT&T:
quote:We appreciate your efforts to respond to the Information and Discovery Requests sent to you on June 5, 2013, which, among other things, requested AT&T’s plans for migrating all of ATN’s customers following the proposed transaction. In response, we have received information on AT&T’s plans for ATN’s post-paid customers. As of the date of this letter, however, despite several Commission staff follow-up conversations about the importance of transitioning pre-paid customers, we have received no detailed responses from AT&T on its plans for transitioning ATN’s significant pre-paid customer base
AT&T issued their own statement to the press on the matter:
quote:"AT&T is extremely disappointed at the FCC delay today on this small transaction. AT&T is ready, willing, and able to make significant network investments in these rural territories to bring HSPA+ and LTE services to Allied's customers, an investment that will not occur but for this transaction. AT&T has actively worked to address FCC concerns and will continue to work with the Commission until all issues are resolved."
The chunk of Alltel being acquired by AT&T was what remained after Verizon acquired the majority of Alltel back in 2008.
Why should AT&T care about transitioning pre-paid customers
Why should AT&T care about transitioning pre-paid customers. They aren't on contract and can go anywhere else they want. AT&T should have no obligation to these customers. -- "If you want to anger a conservative lie to him. If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."
As much as I usually dislike AT&T. This is long overdue. I frequent an Alltell area that is still gsm. It is horrible. I swear they have not done any maintenance or upgrades in years. It is the slowest edge and is basically useless due to the number of dropped calls. I spend a week at a time in this area and no matter which phone I use it is crap. I end up going to a wi-fi hotspot and using google voice to make calls.
2013-Aug-28 10:45 am: ·
KA3SGM - -... ...- - Premium join:2006-01-17 West Chester, PA kudos:1
the FCC will move this through with no problem. They only stopped the clock due to those prepaid customers. Which can be moved easily. If AT&T doesn't want to deal with them, they could move them to some one else- like TMO-USA and the deal with move on just fine. Especially since it only had 5 days left before the deal would have been auto-approved. This only shows the FCC is just showing it "cares" when it doesn't.
Look what happened top prepaid Alltel customers under Verizon and ATT. Verizon, price for minute going up 75% , texting 100%. ATT : significant loss of coverage. I am an ex Alltel prepaid customer, now with verizon on a grandfathered Alltel plan, and I fought a long battle in order to keep that plan. The old Alltel was a great company, verizon sucks and ATT- do not want to comment
Because the Alltel customers now are going to need new equipment and AT&T has to state how they will move those customers over without any big issues. They could move those CDMA customers to another CDMA operator or sell them to a solid prepaid company- TracFone??
What's the big deal ? Because ATT's prepaid has like zero coverage. You do not have all the off network roaming. The other thing is, FCC deliberately prevented ATT to take over the rest of Alltel in order to preserve bit of competition in those areas.( after they and Verizon gobbled up 95% of it) and now suddenly that should be okay?