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FCC Puts AT&T's Acquisition of Alltel on Hold
by Karl Bode 08:39AM Wednesday Aug 28 2013
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.

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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

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."

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

Re: Why should AT&T care about transitioning pre-paid customers

As much as I utterly detest the thing that these days calls itself "AT&T," I have to agree with this.
Technicholas
Premium
join:2010-11-11
Winterset, IA

CDMA?

I thought Alltel is CDMA based not GSM and is part of Verizon Wireless

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: CDMA?

Verizon acquired MOST of Alltel not all of it.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Alltel was/is CDMA based with a few GSM properties. AT&T already obtain some of those areas and the ones that VZW did not pick up; were sold to someone else- now that company is selling out to AT&T.
Jazzemt

join:2009-02-12
USA

.

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.

KA3SGM
- -... ...- -
Premium
join:2006-01-17
West Chester, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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Ruh Roh...

They're buying Alltel's remains, Long Lines Wireless, and Cricket, all at the same time??

When do they announce their merger deal with Verizon?

After their failed T-Mobile stunt, the FCC is going to have a field day with this one.
--
ROCK 'TIL SUNSET
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: Ruh Roh...

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.

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
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·localphone.com
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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
old_wiz_60

join:2005-06-03
Bedford, MA

FCC is just waiting..

for AT&T to slip them more money under the table. The FCC is now run by a supposedly ex-telco/cableco lobbyist, so there's no doubt it will eventually approved after the right bribes are paid.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: FCC is just waiting..

right, especially since the FCC waited 5 days before the cut off day to even say anything. If it was that big of a deal they would have stopped it long ago.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

AT&T has prepaid

So what's the big deal?
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: AT&T has prepaid

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??
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: AT&T has prepaid

Or they could give them an equivalent GoPhone. Not exactly a huge cost considering the small number of customers Alltel has.

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·localphone.com
·callwithus
·Google Voice
·Callcentric
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com
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?
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: AT&T has prepaid

What does Alltel prepaid have? I can't imagine it has anything close to AT&T's native network.

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL

Re: AT&T has prepaid

probably some very significant roaming agreements.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: AT&T has prepaid

What? Verizon? I don't see the issue here.