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  (Source: Google Images)
Move could pay off in the long run, if reduced competition allows it to raise prices

While many took AT&T, Inc.'s (T) accountant's write-off of a loss regarding the likely failure of the proposed $39B USD acquisition of Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA as a retreat call, AT&T insists it will break the bank to save the deal.

I. AT&T Has $10B USD Extra to try to Convince Government to Approve Deal

AT&T, recently named America's worst carrier in customer satisfaction for the second year in a row by Consumer Reports, now says it's willing to spend a whole lot more cash to try to defeat multiple levels of the U.S. government in court and seal the deal.  Chief Financial Officer John Stephens was quoted by Reuters at a UBS media conference in New York as saying that his company had $38B USD on hand to complete the acquisition, which many experts say grossly overvalued T-Mobile from a pure network infrastructure perspective.

Of the $38B USD extra AT&T says it's able to levy to seal the deal, $10B USD is in cash, $20B USD is a bridge facility (venture capital loan), and $8B USD is a "backup".

AT&T has promised $25B USD in cash, and can pay an additional $4.2B USD in cash under certain conditions.  Still, this leaves $8.8B USD of the $38B USD cash on hand (if you include the backup), which AT&T seems to be suggesting it could levy either in lobbying or in legal representation to fight to push the deal through. 

There's several tactics AT&T could try with the extra money.  First it could pay campaign donations to state officials to try convince them to abandon their lawsuits against the proposed acquisition.  It could try to offer similar payouts at a federal level to try to sway federal regulators.   It could use similar payouts to convince rival Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) to drop it's objections.

Alternatively, it could put the funds towards buying more legal support and trying to strike down the state, U.S. Department of Justice (federal) [details], and U.S. Federal Communications Commission's (federal) [details] pending cases against the merger.

Either way, AT&T is willing and able to pay tens of billions to push the deal through, says Mr. Stephens.  He comments, "We continue to move forward with our efforts to complete the T-Mobile transaction...and we will continue to pursue the sale.  So we clearly have an ability to close the deal very quickly and have those resources.  That is the plan."

II. Gamble Could Pay Off by Reducing Competition, Raising Prices

At this point, there's little doubt that the deal isn't truly about AT&T acquiring spectrum or improving coverage.  AT&T's own legal documents put the value of T-Mobile's 3G at $3.8B USD.  Even adding in the likely larger premium on T-Mobile's spectrum holdings (valuation unknown), it seemed difficult to fathom where T-Mobile came to its $39B USD valuation, at least from a pure network capacity basis.  

Now with it indicates willingness to spend, in effect, up to $8.8B USD to push the deal through the picture has been made even clearer that the move is more about gaining market share and reducing competition.  Of course spectrum and coverage are clearly part of the value of the deal, too, but it's obvious they're a smaller part of the equation.

Stormtrooper Legion
It's hard to put a price tag on ruling the galaxy. [Image Source: LucasFilm]

And the move could pay off for AT&T in an anticompetitive sense, despite the enormous cost.  If it can use its $8.8B USD club to stomp out government dissent, it will become the nation's largest carrier.  The number of major players on the market will be reduced to three, with AT&T and Verizon Wireless (a joint venture between Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD)) owning 80 percent of subscription contracts.

If that situation unfolds, AT&T and Verizon (who's mildly supportive of the deal) should be able to jointly (but "independently") raise contract prices, increasing profits to much higher levels than are possible today.  The cost of market entry for a new nationwide telecom makes it unlikely that anyone would be able to stand in the way of these record profits.  And if Sprint goes bankrupt then literally no one would be standing in the way.

In this best case scenario for AT&T -- where it and Verizon are the only large national level subscription carriers -- its increased revenue could easily recoup the $8.8B USD it's willing to drop to push the deal, and much of the $39B USD cost of the core deal as well.

Update/Clarification  12/8/2011 1:20 p.m.:

There's be some questions surrounding the initial figure $77B USD with respect to the deal, or that the additional $38B USD was being paid towards the cost of the deal, not the additional lobbying efforts/legal costs.

Explicitly, Reuters correspondent Nicola Leske writes:

AT&T plans to use the $10 billion cash it had accumulated on its balance sheet to prepare for the closing of the T-Mobile deal, Stephens said. In addition, the company has a $20 billion bridge facility and an $8 billion backup in place.

The phrase "prepare for" suggests, would suggest the cash is being appplied to try to grease the wheels, so to speak, and push the deal through regulatory hurdles -- not to finance the deal itself.

Additionally the Reuters report states:

AT&T Inc plans to forge ahead with its deal to buy Deutsche Telekom's U.S. wireless unit despite fierce regulatory opposition, and it has the financial resources to close the acquisition quickly, a top executive said on Wednesday.

Again the phrase "quickly close" stands in stark contradiction to earlier reports and would suggest some sort of financial push on AT&T's part to get the deal approved.

Upon further inspection it appears however, that the Reuters report was merely a bit of poor wording on the article's part, and a bit of poor interpretation on my part.  The $20B USD lines up with the original press release for the deal.  However Mr. Stephens' commentary does suggest a $8.8B USD extra cash pile to be used to possibly push the deal (the "backup").

AT&T spent close $16M USD last year in reported lobbying (and likely more through PACs and other means of donation obfuscation), so you can guess where some of that money might go.

Source: Reuters

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Step up
By Da W on 12/8/2011 9:14:31 AM , Rating: 5
This is one of those time where the government should step up and do everything it can to stop this deal. Even from a free market economist point of view, the government has a role in promoting competition and preventing monopolies.
Competition law is clear, and the anticompetitive intent from AT&T is also. We all saw the data-cap implementation, what could it be with even less competitors?
If this merger passes, there's no telling how many other mergers of "bigest 2 swalow smaller third" in any other market.

Wanna know where this 1% controls all the wealth comes from? Look no further.

RE: Step up
By tigz1218 on 12/8/2011 9:37:30 AM , Rating: 5
Not sure if I misread the article. But from what I understood they will be using a portion of the money to pay off officials to not get in the way of the deal.

So from your post, it's not that the gov't should step up, they are. Except they are stepping up for the wrong side, as they are being bought off. Your post should read..."This is one of the many times the gov't has sold out the American people."

RE: Step up
By danjw1 on 12/8/2011 12:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
They want to buy off politicians, yes. But being so blatant about doing it may backfire on them. Putting out a press release along these lines is idiotic.

RE: Step up
By MrBlastman on 12/8/2011 2:15:42 PM , Rating: 3
Backfire? How? Just look at how Boehner has profited along with Pelosi recently via illicit trades from inside information--that they are completely immune to!

Our Congress is above the law, and they know it, and they like it! The rest of us would be in a concrete garden right now.

AT&T knows this too. The officials might be bought and paid for but they can laugh it off like nothing and turn their cheek come investigation time. This is corporate corruption at its worst. Of course, it is all "read between the lines."

RE: Step up
By Reclaimer77 on 12/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Step up
By cmdrdredd on 12/8/2011 9:36:09 PM , Rating: 5
AT&T was the first to remove unlimited data and you, reclaimer77 support them? WTF!? It's not anti capitolist to demand more for your dollar. It's the epitome of the free market to refuse to buy a service from a company because you aren't happy. You're saying we should roll over and take it up the ass from AT&T or we're occupy protesters? What rock did you crawl out of?

RE: Step up
By yomamafor1 on 12/9/2011 12:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
So if AT&T acquire T-mobile, then we have 1 GSM provider for the whole US.

How is this not a monopoly?

RE: Step up
By Reclaimer77 on 12/9/2011 3:55:47 PM , Rating: 1
GSM is just a cell network protocol. Hello? Blaming AT&T for having a near GSM "monopoly" is a FAR cry from saying they have a provider monopoly. That's like saying Microsoft has a monopoly on DirectX so they corner the market on all PC gaming.

GSM is HUGE in the rest of the world. For a bunch of reasons it's not that way in the USA. However I fail to see how that's AT&T's fault exclusively. Carriers clearly get to decide which protocol their networks run on, this just isn't a "monopoly" situation.

Why aren't you blaming Verizon and Sprint for NOT supporting GSM? No, let's just blame AT&T for using GSM and "monopolizing" use of a protocol that's used world wide?

Your argument is stupid, makes no sense, and is illogical.

RE: Step up
By Lerianis on 12/18/2011 10:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer, the only illogic I am seeing is in your argument, to be blunt on the subject.

RE: Step up
By JasonMick on 12/8/2011 9:38:35 AM , Rating: 4
If this merger passes, there's no telling how many other mergers of "bigest 2 swalow smaller third" in any other market.

Well, Sprint is likely to go. The iPhone deal was just insane. Given their recent (large) losses (-$3.5B USD in 2010) and slowly phasing out unlimited data (which will likely lead to subscriber losses), they seem to be biding their time.

The best case scenario might be for T-Mobile and Sprint to merge and restructure to form a single competitive third player.

Otherwise, we're likely looking at two players on the market -- Verizon and AT&T -- both of whom have shown a proclivity for jacking up prices to the highest level possible.

RE: Step up
By arazok on 12/8/2011 9:52:07 AM , Rating: 5
Step up is the correct headline, but I’d say that it’s the American people that need to step up, and make government corruption and campaign finance reform THE sole election issue in 2012.

My god, you have a company bluntly talking about throwing billions of dollars directly at politicians to get what they want. It’s disgusting. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to donate money to any government body or person, period. Actually, neither should individuals. Donations should be limited to a couple thousand dollars from any one individual per year.

Then all the corruption and money gets sucked out of politics in America. The rest will follow.

RE: Step up
By wiz220 on 12/8/2011 10:48:12 AM , Rating: 5
Even better, how about we just have publicly financed campaigns with zero outside money like many western democracies. That would stomp out this problem completely.

RE: Step up
By bigdawg1988 on 12/8/2011 10:58:47 AM , Rating: 5
Now hold on just a minute there, sonny! If we do that, then only honest people will want to run for office, and we cannot have that sort of thing in OUR country!!

RE: Step up
By arazok on 12/8/2011 11:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
I could probably stomach that (it’s better then what you have now), but I think you’re better off having parties survive and compete with the financial support of their voters.

Canada has a hybrid system like this. Corporations, unions, and individuals are capped at $1,000 per year, per party. Then the parties get $2.00 per vote won in the last election from the government.

However it has its problems. The Separatist BQ party in Quebec survives partially because it gets 75% of its cash flow from the government subsidy. It’s supporters do not generally donate any cash to it. Without this money, it might very well disappear. Then other parties, like the Conservatives, get almost all their money from small mom/pop donors across Canada. They have a rock solid base, and the base contributes.

I’d rather see a party survive off its base than off handouts. But again, it’s all better then the cash raising orgy the Democrats and Republicans go through each year. It’s sickening.

RE: Step up
By Da W on 12/8/2011 2:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
However it has its problems. The Separatist BQ party in Quebec survives partially because it gets 75% of its cash flow from the government subsidy.

And why, sir, would that be a problem? You blokes make separatists sound like the mecca of all evils, like an army of robots lead by general Grievous.

We are enough French-Canadians who don't want to be told what to do by a bunch of anglo-canadians with whom we DO NOT share the same values, in this country that WE founded AND protected and allowed you anglo-canandian to simply exist (a.k.a. 1774; 1812), else you would just be americans or wouldn't even have left Europe.

Since you won't let us file for divorce and just each go our separate ways and mind our own buisnesses and be happy about it, since you seem to believe you are so d*** f****ing supperior as to be able to decide what is good or wrong for us, then i think we have the right to be represented in your copy of the London Parliament, and be financed by taxes money which we ourselves pay.

We stopped voting for the Bloc Québécois just one election and look where that got us. Harper land until 2030 at least. Throw everybody in prison, melt down the north pole, make military parades in Ottawa, kiss the Queen of England's ass and throw us right back in colonialism, screw the world and the kyoto protocol and be forevever sentanced in hell if you smoke marijuana, drink beer or have sex before the age of 30, even worst if you keep the lights on. All it's only been 6 months.

RE: Step up
By Da W on 12/8/2011 2:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually i'll take back some of that. I think it's quite a feat that in Canada's 403 years history, the French ruled 151 years, London ruled for 108 years, then French-Canadian prime ministers ruled for most of it's 144 years of democratic history or the strong French-Canadian presence dictated the political agenda and now, finally, English-Canadians can do as they please and dictate their values since may 2 2011....


Canada is Canada because of its French population, whom 90% lives in the province of Québec on the shores of the St-Lawrence River. I want the world to know that. Canada is going to change in the future, it won't be the country it used to be, and the tipping point of it was when the French population got too small and lost political control. It happend this year and cannot be reversed. Which Canada did you like the most, its up to the world to judge.

Oh yeah, maple syrup comes from Québec.

RE: Step up
By arazok on 12/8/2011 9:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Firstly, we would let you divorce, but you can’t get 50%+1 to vote for it in a referendum. So It looks like you don’t actually want to leave. You prefer to threaten it and get free stuff from the rest of Canada with your empty threats.

Secondly, I don’t know a single Anglo-Canadian who wouldn’t love to see you money sucking pigs pack it in and go your own way. Unfortunately, our leaders know better and realize that would have some significant reverberations across the country and might be rather disruptive.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for you guys doing as you please. Distinct society stuff and French only signs everywhere…. knock yourselves out. But I rather resent the 8 billion dollars annually we fork down your throats to shut you up, only to see you burn it on socialist programs that other provinces can’t afford because they have to pay for your extravagance.

But, I guess 8 billion a year, in the grand scheme of things, is a small price to pay to keep the country together. And what’s ironic, is that those golden handcuffs are what keeps you in Canada. You can’t afford to go on your own – your way of life would implode without us.

RE: Step up
By Da W on 12/9/2011 9:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
You know, i'm glad to hear that. Please, please, come tell us that out loud. Don't send buses full of 50000 people to Montréal to tell us "We love you Québec", but come tell us how you really feel! I swear we won't stay with you for long.

RE: Step up
By arazok on 12/9/2011 10:14:01 AM , Rating: 2
If I could afford to do that, I would. Unfortunately, the government doesn't agree with me and has deeper pockets.

Regardless, as I said... I think you guys are stuck with us. Your provincial debt is at, what, 80% of GDP? Pile on your share of the federal debt, which you would have to assume, and your the next Italy. You'd be under IMF supervision the day you declared independence.

Your free daycare, free fertility treatments, and bloated government have imprisoned you within Canada.

Like any parasite, you can't exist without your host. You can whine and complain about it all you want, but it's never going to change. We own you.

RE: Step up
By WayneCoffee on 12/9/2011 11:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
So where do I add "Q" in "PIIGS"...let's see...

RE: Step up
By Mint on 12/9/2011 2:29:11 PM , Rating: 1
What an ungrateful ass. Canada is keeping Quebec alive (and has been for years) and that's the thanks we get. It's nothing new, though.

Same thing happens with rural Ontario vs Toronto. Let's see them survive without the tax dollars of the GTA propping them up.

Again, same thing in the US. Conservative states bitch about bailouts/socialism to California and New York, when for decades (and even now) those two have been paying far more in federal taxes than they get back in services while the biggest moochers wind up being red states.

RE: Step up
By Solandri on 12/8/2011 3:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
Donations should be limited to a couple thousand dollars from any one individual per year.

Donations from individuals are limited to a few thousand per candidate per year.

The problem is "soft money", which can be used to bypass those limits. The current favorite being IRS section 527.

I lean libertarian in my views, but the only solution I can think of at this point is to block all political fundraising altogether. Have the government allocate a fixed amount of campaign money to each candidate who proves him/herself as a viable candidate for an office (maybe collect x signatures or something). That's all they get to spend, period.

RE: Step up
By Reclaimer77 on 12/11/2011 12:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
My god, you have a company bluntly talking about throwing billions of dollars directly at politicians to get what they want. It’s disgusting. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to donate money to any government body or person, period. Actually, neither should individuals. Donations should be limited to a couple thousand dollars from any one individual per year.

Good luck enforcing that. These people (Congressmen) are quite literally, above the law. If the American public knew the full scope of what they get away with, they would probably be shocked. Assuming apathy hasn't completely taken over.

Banning campaign funding or lobbying is like trying to level a mountain with a chisel. We first have to solve the underlying problems which in my opinion, are as follows:

Eliminate the "ruling" class

1. Drastic pay cuts for representatives as well as reduced benefits. Public service is supposed to be service, not a career.

2. Term limits put in place across the board. Some of these guys have been in Congressmen as long as I've been alive! Unacceptable. We need to eliminate the "career politician"

3. Remove all special exemptions. Congress shall pass no laws on the people that they themselves are exempt from obeying. This includes paying income taxes and social security.

I can assure you those three changes would fix the problem and almost every OTHER problem we have. When trying to fix a problem, it's important to identify the root cause.

RE: Step up
By callmeroy on 12/13/2011 9:23:47 AM , Rating: 2
"THE" sole election issue in 2012 --- either your life is REALLY good (and pampered) or live under a rock.

This economy is horrid has been for years now, its only gotten worse. The economy is w/o a doubt going to be issue #1 superemeo on the majority of voters mines this Presidential election season. I'd say health care will be a close 2nd.

RE: Step up
By callmeroy on 12/13/2011 9:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
oops tried get a bit creative ...that word should have read "Supreme-O" :)

RE: Step up
By Ringold on 12/8/2011 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, now this is just a matter of respect, respecting the government as the sovereign arbiter of law and administration here. Uncle Sam should backhand AT&T hard enough they spend the next 10 years wishing they'd just shut up.

RE: Step up
By Lerianis on 12/18/2011 10:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed on that. Something like this should have federal and state attorney's looking at criminal charges of bribery for AT&T.

RE: Step up
By sviola on 12/8/2011 10:47:59 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, I think the government should let AT&T buy T-mobile for the 77B, then break it up in 4 smaller companies.

RE: Step up
By LordSojar on 12/9/11, Rating: 0
RE: Step up
By jRaskell on 12/14/2011 10:45:02 AM , Rating: 2
Your clearly biased opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant.

By quiksilvr on 12/8/2011 9:12:46 AM , Rating: 4
I mean for FCUK SAKE! 77 BILLION DAMN DOLLARS?! You can replace every single tower with a more advanced LTE version with that money within a year and improve overall coverage! Imagine the look on Verizon's face if they got leap-frogged over in coverage by AT&T.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/8/2011 9:35:23 AM , Rating: 4
You could probably provide the majority of homes in the USA with a dedicated fiber connection for that much.

The Aussies are doing it for 38 billion and total-land area between the two countries are fairly similar. (Very different population density's though.)

AT&T should use that money to grow themselves organically, not via acquisitions and paying off the Government, the consumer gets 0 benefit from it.

By JasonMick on 12/8/2011 9:47:21 AM , Rating: 2
To quote myself from the stormtrooper picture:
You can't put a price on ruling the galaxy.

If only Verizon and AT&T are left on the market, both will be able to rake in windfall profits because they'll be able to overcharge and underdeliver and no one will stand in their way, giving the cost barriers to market entry.

Remember, the other "minor" carriers like MetroPCS, Leap, et al. are mostly prepaid services, which rent network bandwidth from AT&T/Verizon, but have little to no coverage of their own.

About the only hope is a handful of other smaller regional players, e.g. Cellular South, U.S. Cellular. It's possible these players could merge into a third competitor, but AT&T and Verizon would still likely enjoy several years of duopoly.

And as has been seen with data caps, data plan pricing, etc. Verizon and AT&T have shown a tendency to jointly make pricing decisions. You can bet those decisions will be a bump up in prices and a bump down in total delivered data (compared to the current state of the art).

By Quadrillity on 12/8/2011 12:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
The largest asset they would be purchasing is the customers, forget any of the infrastructure. Let's just throw out some (guessed) numbers:

$100 per month average cell phone bill X 55,000,000 subscribers.

You do the math. 77 Billion is a drop in the bucket, not to mention that AT&T's revenue went up 30% recently.

Is the ATT quote being misinterpreted?
By bobdelt on 12/8/2011 10:28:17 AM , Rating: 4
Originally, when I heard the quote, I thought it meant that ATT has the funds available to close the deal quickly. Since it's primarily a cash deal, ATT is saying "hey we have liquid assets, we can get this deal done once the regulators let us".

They are not saying they will spend an additional 30+billion.

Lawyers, Politicians, etc do not cost 30+ billion to bribe. Additionally, even att would think that's a ridiculous amount to spend for tmobile.

RE: Is the ATT quote being misinterpreted?
By bobdelt on 12/8/2011 10:58:31 AM , Rating: 3
"AT&T plans to use the $10 billion cash it had accumulated on its balance sheet to prepare for the closing of the T-Mobile deal, Stephens said. In addition, the company has a $20 billion bridge facility and an $8 billion backup in place.

"So we clearly have an ability to close the deal very quickly and have those resources," Stephens said. "That is the plan."" - Reuters

Where on earth does it say they are spending an additional 30+ billion? Way to go dailytech. Fabricating stories.

Exactly why it should not be approved
By masamasa on 12/8/2011 11:02:13 AM , Rating: 2
"Move could pay off in the long run, if reduced competition allows it to raise prices..."

RE: Exactly why it should not be approved
By masamasa on 12/8/2011 11:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
On another note...

Customer satisfaction isn't exactly their forte.

By cmeierdirk on 12/25/2011 8:33:01 AM , Rating: 2

help petition AT&T's texting "package"

By TheDoc9 on 12/8/2011 12:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
Send a few million my way At&t, I'll support you!

RE: Nice!
By cmeierdirk on 12/25/2011 8:28:49 AM , Rating: 2

help petition AT&T's texting "package"

Sadly, I Hope T-Mobile DIES
By Darksurf on 12/12/2011 10:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly I was a Tmo customer for over a year, they treated me horribly. Yeah, customer service was all nice to me and acted like they cared about me. I was happy for a while thinking they were doing all they could to help me. I kept calling back and time after time they didn't have a record of me ever calling or having an issue, but tried to reassure me they were working to fix my issue.

They lied to my face when I setup the contract, they lied to my face about my coverage, they lied to my face multiple times over customer service. They didn't keep all (or barely any!) of the records or submit tickets when I called with trouble. They altered my contract without notifying me.

So I got sick of not having coverage and tried to get out of the contract (as the TOS said I could if I had no service in my home town). They wouldn't allow me. I fought and fought, finally after calling and talking to managers about how I was lied to and they had an investigation I got this reply 3 different times from 3 different managers! "I'm sorry you were lied to, but policy prevents us from helping you".

I was appalled! So I stuck it out. Later I get to the point i'm ready to do something about not having service. I try to cancel my contract using the TOS as an excuse. Only to find they changed the TOS 2 months ago and never notified me! I'd had been trying to get out of the contract long before that!

Eventually, someone "helped" me and had me send a fax and said They would waive the ETF. I did so, they helped me switch to verizon. I later got a call asking for me to pay my final bill. I paid it over the phone with credit card. And they said thanx everything was complete.

2 months later, they call and tell me I owe them over $600 in ETFs and I fight them on it! They then added another months service after turning them into the Better Business Bureau and claim my bill is over $700!

Tmo is just as crooked as any other company. I know AT&T is crooked, but I never had issues like this! If TMO gets absorbed and makes AT&T better, I say go for it! TMO is only a pretty face with a heart of black ice. CS will put on a happy face with a happy voice and manipulate you to make you think you are getting it good, all the while they know your just a cash cow.

RE: Sadly, I Hope T-Mobile DIES
By icanhascpu on 12/14/2011 4:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
They ALL do this.

By sigmatau on 12/8/2011 11:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
Is AT&T and Sprint the only fully American companies? T-mobile was created by Deutchecom and Verizon is partnered with Vodaphone?

Did we really need foreign companies to help us with our networks?

Let me get this straight
By Mathos on 12/8/2011 12:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sooooo.... How is it they can afford to pay $77B for T-Mobile.....But they couldn't afford to spend just say $10B on network and infrastructure upgrades???? Which would have much more effect.... This deal gets more and more anti trust every time it changes.

By 91TTZ on 12/8/2011 12:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
How is this any different than a bribe? Aren't bribes illegal?

By SuckRaven on 12/8/2011 3:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is humorous when big companies sue the pants off the little guy, (pants the little guy already doesn't have), but in big business, it's common practice to just steal someone's idea, use it, make millions from selling product created with said infringing patent, and then settle, or pay a fine, and a slap on the wrist. Wait wait... surely these big behemoths with 2000 technical advisors, and 200,000 lawyers research technology patents, names, and trademarks before they put them into use right?

God I love this country.

P.S. This made my day:

The monolith returns
By morphologia on 12/13/2011 12:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
All I can say is...


Better use of that $77B
By fuzzlefizz on 12/8/2011 10:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
Instead of buying out a competitor, possibly laying off people, and increasing contract prices to pay for costs.

How about using that $77B to secure exclusive rights to upcoming phones, reducing contract prices to attract more customers, provide a tiered family data plan, hire more employees, and IMPROVE customer service satisfaction.

RE: Better use of that $77B
By bobdelt on 12/8/11, Rating: -1
Ahhh the money!
By Dr of crap on 12/8/2011 10:46:25 AM , Rating: 1
So this behemoth of a company has so much money it can crush it's competition with it's cash.

And our stupid govt will allow it to happen.

As has been pointed out before, remember Ma Bell of the early years. This is exactly what will happen here, and everyone knows it but won't point it out.

And yes I heard the arguments of T-mobil will just shut down anyway and it parts bought up by ATT anyway. That also should be blocked.

When the only options we have are the TWO players, and rates are through the roof, and everyone is bitching about it, then they might take a look at the problem.

And yes I know ATT is a business and should be able to do what it wishes to better is business, but I think we all can agree this doesn't even look good to flash that much cash. Maybe they have so much cash now because they over charge thier customers, and have the ability to lower rates NOW.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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