AT&T punts on T-Mobile purchase

AT&T punts on T-Mobile purchase

Summary: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson maintained that the rationale for the deal made sense, but regulator opposition was too much.

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AT&T waved the white flag of surrender to regulators and dropped its plans to acquire T-Mobile.

In a statement, AT&T said it agreed with Deutsche Telekom to drop plans to buy T-Mobile. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice were against the deal.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson maintained that the rationale for the deal made sense. AT&T had argued that it needed T-Mobile to boost its network. Regulators, however, panned the deal. Stephenson said:

To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest. However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.

As a consolation prize, Deutsche Telekom will get a $4 billion breakup fee. Deutsche Telekom and AT&T also entered a roaming agreement.

The end of the T-Mobile deal presents a spectrum conundrum for AT&T. The company argued that the T-Mobile deal would give it more network coverage. While regulators were jousting with AT&T, Verizon picked up spectrum from a bevy of cable companies. Verizon's move was designed to squeeze AT&T should the T-Mobile deal fall apart.

Without a deal, AT&T and T-Mobile are the weakest of the field in terms of wireless spectrum.

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Topics: Government US, Government, Mobility, AT&T

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7 comments
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  • The next couple of years will be telling

    Geriatric clueless political grazers who have no clue on how this all works making decisions for the rest of us.

    Washington needs an upgrade...
    rhonin
    • RE: AT&T punts on T-Mobile purchase

      @rhonin
      You actually thought this was a good idea?
      hoaxoner
      • It was a good idea. DK wanted to sell and AT&T wanted to buy

        DK wanted to sell because T-mobile is losing them money. Perhaps you'd prefer it if they went bankrupt?
        baggins_z
      • Not exactly but

        @hoaxoner
        It is better than the alternative.
        rhonin
      • RE: AT&T punts on T-Mobile purchase

        @hoaxoner

        The whole fight is because some felt that AT&T acquiring T-Mobile would hurt them despite that there are other cell carriers. T-Mobile America is not doing well and while it would absorb a competitor and use its equipment to expand their network I thought it was better than letting T-Mobile going bankrupt and the equipment being useless. No other cell carrier is in the position to use that equipment because both the other big players used a different technology. So yes I thought it was a good idea if it could bring better cell service to the customers. There are still two other big players and several other smaller players to keep competition alive.

        Now if T-Mobile america falls then what happens then. Can AT&T purchase the remains? Or does it die out completely. Maybe we should give them a bailout at the expense of the tax payers so we can pay more and get less.
        bobiroc
      • RE: AT&T punts on T-Mobile purchase

        @biobiroc
        Of course they can purchase equipment. It will be a part of the bankruptcy procedure.
        So let the free market do its job and finish off Tmobile.
        If ATT bought T this is the end of the free market- monopoly and free market do not go well together.
        kirovs@...
  • RE: AT&T punts on T-Mobile purchase

    I'm so sick of "free markets" where everything is anything but "free".
    podstolom