The FCC released its order today declaring that the AT&T-T-Mobile merger was not good for consumer, public good or competition. And AT&T was not pleased that the FCC released the Staff Analysis - all 157 pages of it.
AT&T probably didn't like Commissioner Copps blasting them for wasting serious staff hours and expense analyzing this transaction over the last 7 months.
The findings - in summary - are as follows:
The big 1: this merger would put control of cellular - 75% - in the hands of 2 carriers.
There are "substantial and material" questions about its competitive effects on roaming, wholesale, and resale services, backhaul, and handsets.
It would likely NOT produce jobs, despite AT&T claims. (When has a merger resulted in job creation? How about some perjury charges for these claims!)
"Here is something else worth highlighting: T-Mobile has built a business model targeting budget-conscious consumers. "With lower-income consumers increasingly thinking of mobile as their only broadband service, and with no guarantee the new entity will continue to serve this population, many consumers may find themselves priced right out of broadband. That is not a direction the country can afford to go."
While AT&T claimed that it couldn't build out its LTE network, documents and Congressional testimony refuted that claim. One document leaked online said that AT&T could build it all out for $4B - one-tenth the price of the merger.
As VB points out, every claim made was refuted.
Now starting tomorrow the rumors will fly about Sprint buying T-Mobile or some such bull. And there will be speculation about what happens to T-Mobile now. Well, T gets a $4B break up fee from T, so it could give $4B and AWS spectrum to Clearwire or Lightsquared or DISH to build out an LTE network that T could use. Or it could merge with Leap or MetroPCS or Cricket or US Cellular or DISH. Endless speculation to follow.