The Complaint largely ignores the significant competition from established providers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint, innovative upstarts such as MetroPCS and Leap/Cricket, and strong regional providers like US Cellular and Cellular South, among others. The Department does not and cannot explain how, in the face of all of these aggressive rivals, the combined AT&T/T-Mobile will have any ability or incentive to restrict output, raise prices, or slow innovation. Nor can it explain how T-Mobile, the only major carrier to have actually lost subscribers in a robustly growing market, provides a unique competitive constraint on AT&T.
Blocking this transaction will not help T-Mobile or its customers, but the transfer of T-Mobile’s network capacity and infrastructure to AT&T, a healthy competitor, will enhance competition for all, now and in the future.
Defendants respond that significant efficiencies more than outweigh any anticompetitive effect from this merger. Defendants further respond that Plaintiff’s own Horizontal Merger Guidelines make clear that cost savings and other efficiencies can "reduce … the merged firm’s incentive to elevate prices," "make coordination less likely," and more generally "reverse the merger’s potential to harm customers." Defendants further respond that it is Plaintiff’s burden to prove that, on balance, in light of all the evidence, including the competitive, efficiency-enhancing effects, the net effect of the transaction is to substantially lessen competition.
[C]ustomers’ insatiable and growing demand for wireless data is placing unprecedented strains on AT&T’s network and is impairing its ability to continue to meet explosive mobile broadband demands... Without this merger, AT&T will continue to experience capacity constraints, millions of customers will be deprived of faster and higher quality service, and innovation and infrastructure will be stunted.
Defendants further respond that characterization of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint as the "Big Four" is misleading in this context, because, as the FCC has recently found in its Fifteenth Report on the state of competition in the mobile services marketplace, more than 90% of U.S. consumers have at least five wireless providers to choose from. Defendants otherwise deny the allegations in this paragraph.
quote: so you taking the quote from ATT that there will not be "significant harm" to the consumer -- bastardizing it -- and turning it into ATT admitting that the merger will hurt consumers? -the whole premise of this article is ridiculous. This is totally sad reporting. And i'm sorry to see this kind of stupid stuff from you, Jason.
quote: It doesn't matter whether or not ATT owns all GSM frequencies. It will not have a monopoly on the wireless communications industry. If you're trying to imply that T-Mobile is the only thing holding back ATT from total market domination, then we have other issues. --wait a few years when T-mobile will just fold on its own and see what happens. The fact is: that there is a lot of substitutes to wireless service. Now if ATT were trying to purchase verizon... yeah, i'd start to worry. But this is a case where number 2 is merging with number 4; true, they'll gobble up enough to be the new number 1, but the fact remains that subscribers still have alternatives.
quote: You can't faithfully take a non-negative and turn it into a perhaps-positive and call it the same thing. I agree that wording is important; and changing "no significant" to "perhaps some" is misleading to say the least. It actually means something completely different. You're really grasping at straws here. We'd argue about this all day without getting anywhere, so let's just say that we're at an impass here.
quote: I'll repeat my earlier argument that it would not make a hill of beans if ATT has complete control on GSM coverage. Your argument of foreign travel is the best their is on the monopoly issue, but it still has flaws. With the price of phones these days, it's much easier to go ahead and purchase a prepaid plan when travelling internationally. In fact, many of our GSM phones here will not even work overseas, so that argument is almost completely mute.
quote: Competition will still exist when ATT purchases T-mobile. That's all that matters. T-mobile is bleeding cash and is up for sale. Verizon won't buy them (if they did, would there be as much of a concern?) The best case for the t-mobile shareholders is to be purchased as soon as possible and att is willing to overpay quite a bit right now. If this deal doesn't go through, we'll see what happens.. when all that's left of t-mobile is their infrastructure.
quote: I have several friends who coinhabit two nations and they prefer GSM phones. If you spend a lot of time in both regions, getting two contracts on a single GSM phone is less hassle and less expensive than one CDMA contract phone and one prepaid (foreign) GSM phone.
quote: Of course it's good for T-Mobile shareholders (perhaps you're one). But it's likely bad for T-Mobile consumers and bad for consumers in general from a competitive standpoint.
quote: I was refering to harm as the positive test result, and I could have (and probably should have) said non-positive, but i thought you'd get it. obviously not, my bad. You're still mincing words. If your Logic 101 says that "ATT states no significant harm" is equal to "ATT admits harm" then your class is flawed. Out of all of ATT's comments and arguments for the betterment of consumers, you take one and twist it to make them "leave the door open to perhaps-maybe-possibly cause marginal-but-perhaps-insignificant harm to consumers" I'm not here to argue words, i'm just saying that your headline is very misleading.
quote: I don't own ATT stock or T-mobile stock, and I definitely dont' work for either company. I'm just an observer here.
quote: Good for them! The fact remains that they have choices! They don't have to use GSM here or there! It's just convenient. I'm sure you don't think it's our government's job to regulate our companies to use forein standards for convenience sake. (or maybe you do) Then verizon wouldn't even exist... at least in the same capacity. Everyone would have to use GSM? no. that's retarded.
quote: T-mobile's owners should get the say in who purchases them. As long as the sale is legal. Saying that there are other possible buyers that maybe won't pay as much, but that would be better anyway is definitely not free-market. Whatever, maybe you're not a free-market person.
quote: Again, this is a qualified indefinite, so it indicates both a partial-negative and partial-positive are possible outcomes -- the headline points to the negative one simply because it's an interesting admission.Again, remember too that AT&T is arbitrarily defining what it thinks to be "significant". It does not including its definition of significant harm vs. minor/slight harm in the document....
quote: That's like saying you have a choice between walking or riding your car. Yes there's choices, but one choice is much less convenient than the other, since it's a different kind of product.So yes, AT&T does, in a sense, own a monopoly.
quote: Not denying a possible negative is not the same as admitting a possible negative.
quote: If I walked up to you with a bat and you got scared and I said "Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you!", maybe you'd feel a bit better. But if I said, "Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you substantially !" you'd feel a lot differently, probably....