The Benton Foundation notes that there are over 10,000 comments to the FCC about the ATT/T-Mobile merger. Unions and relatives are competing against consumer groups for the robo-comments.
Meanwhile, MetroPCS officially opposed it, but wants to buy all the assets that ATT will have to spin off.
"The New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel says the Federal Communications Commission should deny the application of AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA's assets and operations from Deutsche Telekom AG because the proposed transaction is not in the public interest," according to Benton. "The Public Service Commission of the State of New York has filed a Petition to Deny AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile," according to Benton.
I think this statement from the Rural Cellular Association sums up the whole thing pretty well: "The proposed transaction presents a stark choice: AT&T can either spend $39 billion to eliminate a growing competitive threat (and the one with the lowest-priced service offerings among the nationwide carriers), or it can invest that capital in new broadband networks and improved service quality and deliver substantial public interest benefits in the process. The Federal Communications Commission's response will have profound implications for competition, economic growth, innovation, and consumer welfare."
Most acquisitions are about buying revenue and eliminating competition. It comes down to: can AT&T press this acquisition forward or will it have to untangle just one of the corporate structural messes that it has in order to drive revenue.
To clarify (for the AT&T legal eagles that read this blog) by "corporate structural messes" I mean that Ma Bell put the gang back together plus a few new members under one stock symbol, but underneath that are a number of computer systems, organizations, networks that do not inter-operate or in fact hold up progress. ATT may well get to acquire T-Mobile but it will be a long winter before Ma Bell could take advantage of that acquisition because it would be one more integration that it would need to do and it has been unsuccessful thus far in integration. For example (to keep the subpoenas at bay), SBC is still operated as SBC and BellSouth is still operated as BellSouth. From former legacy systems, like SalesExpert you can only perform functions inside BellSouth. AT&T Legacy is all but gone. If a client has fiber from BellSouth, new fiber has to be deployed and turned up that is AT&T fiber. Imagine what that will be like when it's T-Mobile?
I say NO. Plus if they mismanaged their own Cingular/AT&T Mobility spectrum and network, what makes you think that adding an existing far from perfect one to the mix will improve anything?