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AT&T Technology

AT&T Stops T-Mobile Merger Bid With the FCC 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the never-meant-to-be dept.
An anonymous reader writes Relationships are tough and it looks like AT&T and T-Mobile's has stopped before it even started. From the article: 'AT&T and T-Mobile have announced that they will remove their pending applications to the FCC for their merger bid. This comes after statements from the FCC chairman 'strongly opposing the merger'. In doing so, AT&T has agreed to pay T-Mobile 4 Billion US dollars to cover accounting and other costs that this may have caused. While AT&T would still like to merge, it is unlikely that they will gain antitrust clearance from the Department of Justice. It's the antitrust aspect that this is mostly about, in that AT&T has said that they want this move to free up the FCC to consider all options, and focus both AT&T and T-Mobile on the pending antitrust.'"
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AT&T Stops T-Mobile Merger Bid With the FCC

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  • Perfect! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:30PM (#38162660)

    Yay!

    That means the T-Mobile commercials with that hot girl in pink will continue!

    • That means the T-Mobile commercials with that hot girl in pink will continue!

      I'm pretty sure AT&T would have bought her as well. She's way hotter than anyone who ever sold Verizon...

    • by reub2000 (705806)

      I just wanted AT&T to have commercials where people randomly starting dancing in a train station.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:31PM (#38162664) Homepage

    Hell just froze over. I am not sure I can sleep tonight.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:32PM (#38162674) Homepage Journal
    T-Mobile is now officially my #1 entry. Deutsche Telekom was looking to get rid of them, and I don't see them being likely to hold in there very long without them.
    • by Burdell (228580) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:47PM (#38162736)

      I expect T-Mobile will still be sold, just not to another major mobile phone provider. I wouldn't be surprised if CenturyLink ends up buying them; they are the largest telecom company without a mobile presence.

      There's too many customers and too much spectrum for them to just be shut down. They're even still showing growth, just not as much as AT&T and Verizon (and not as much as Deutsche Telekom would like).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I expect T-Mobile will still be sold, just not to another major mobile phone provider.

        I disagree. I think T-Mobile has reached a state of corporate radioactivity. Their coverage is mediocre, their pricing is nothing extraordinary. and they have the worst phones of any major US carrier.

        T-Mobile is the only major carrier in the US who does not carry the iPhone (as just one example). T-Mobile hasn't had a new BlackBerry phone in a very, very, long time (as another example). If they can't get phone manufacturers to believe in them, how will they get a potential investor to? They have on

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          they have the worst phones of any major US carrier.

          T-Mobile has the mytouch 4g slide, which is currently the only qwerty phone with a dual core cpu ... i certainly would prefer that over my single core Epic...

          • by guruevi (827432)

            I thought the iPhone 4S had 2 cores as well as the Motorola Atrix and a few other newer Androids.

            Either way, nobody cares in consumer-space whether or not you have more than 1 core. Can it call and download Angry Birds is all they're interested in.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Which is why Apple will shockingly buy them and then make them the only domestic iPhone carrier once their deals with other companies are over.

          • by rickb928 (945187)

            Jobs always wanted to be a carrier. It could work, but they would need to grow coverage bigtime.

            Google is not interested in that. Trust Me.

          • Which is why Apple will shockingly buy them and then make them the only domestic iPhone carrier once their deals with other companies are over.

            I think this is one of the few non AT&T options that makes any sense. T-Mobile's coverage isn't anywhere near as good as Verizon and AT&T... but they're better than both where I live, which is why I use them. I was very very hesitant to sign a new contract with T-Mobile, knowing they might get absorbed into AT&T next year, and I'm stuck with craptastic AT&T service for the next two years.

            Risks? Yeah, there are a few. In some places, T-Mobile's coverage is for shit... Florida comes to mind, w

        • by swalve (1980968)
          T-Mobil had the new Blackberry Bold before AT&T did.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by garyebickford (222422)

          Those customers are worth between $250 (the costs cell companies are now paying to acquire each new customer) and $500 (a reasonable one-year follow-on profit per customer) each to another provider - but none of the Big Three can now touch T-Mobile. So it's going to be a new entrant. T-Mobile is an excellent way to buy into the US market for someone with the balls and the resources to do it.

          If they had another few $billion they could build out their network as the best nationwide 4G, and expand their cust

          • by Weezul (52464)

            You realize that T-mobile just obtained $4B from AT&T, right?

            China should buy them, lower the prices, expand the coverage, and use them for spying on American businesses. lol

          • $500 (a reasonable one-year follow-on profit per customer)

            Mobile providers in the USA make a $500 profit per customer per year? Really? That's over $40/month, which seems an insanely large amount to pay, even before you subtract the operating costs.

            • I'd have to do some actual work to figure it out, but i wouldn't be surprised if it was close to that - per customer, not per line. The easiest way would be to take whatever number you can find for their gross sales for the cellular business, divide by the number of customers, and then take 20% or whatever they publish as their gross profits times the amount per customer.

              I'm sure the average customer has more than one line, business customers have many lines and often pay prices at the high end. In my cas

        • T-Mobile hasn't had a new BlackBerry phone in a very, very, long time (as another example).

          Actually, a month or so back I was in a T-Mobile store (checking out inexpensive pay-as-you-go service for my jailbroken and unlocked iPhone) and they had the latest Blackberry with the touch screen. I don't know the model (don't care about Blackberry phones) but they are certainly getting the latest phones.

          Part of the reason for not having the iPhone is that Apple doesn't want to devote the time or effort to supporting T-Mobile's 3G spectrum. My iPhone 3GS works fine with T-Mobile, except that I can't ge

          • by Y-Crate (540566)

            Part of the reason for not having the iPhone is that Apple doesn't want to devote the time or effort to supporting T-Mobile's 3G spectrum.

            I have a feeling that the other part is "weakening T-Mobile for their friend AT&T".

            • Plus they know any upgrades are pointless since AT&T's S.O.P. when they acquire a successful minor carrier is to trash the acquired network, shutting off any parts that might give them "excess" capacity in areas to further raise the profit profile from their new customers. It is essentially the entire point of a merger like this: Reduce operating cost per customer by merging, then eliminating excess "overhead," (like overlapping towers that might have alleviated congestion problems, if they weren't on t

        • by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529@yaPERIODhoo.com minus punct> on Friday November 25, 2011 @02:09AM (#38163546)

          Their coverage might not be all that great in the middle of the desert like Verizon is, but I've got Verizon in one pocket (courtesy of work), and T-Mo in the other. In the New York suburb where I live, coverage is mostly comparable; places where T-Mo drops the call, my Verizon phone is showing less than -100dbm coverage itself. Also, while I've found Verizon to have a bit better latency numbers, my download speed on T-Mo 3G is sometimes double Verizon's numbers, likely due to the fact that there are relatively fewer people saturating the backhaul.

          As for phones, fine, they don't have the iPhone officially. They do, however, unofficially support unlocked iPhone models on their network. T-Mobile has the Blackberry Torch now, though using a Blackberry as an example did cause a slight lol. They have more Android phones than anyone else, in more form factors, and if memory serves more WP7 phones as well.

          While I unfortunately agree that T-Mo's future is questionable, I think that making it well known that they're officially not becoming AT&T will likely help spur sales. I knew a lot of people who were considering going to T-Mo, but didn't want to become AT&T customers. This may restore enough confidence to make the growth start happening for them.

          • I'll top that last statement... my contract was up 2 weeks after the merger announcement and I jumped ship.
            • I'm a T-Mobile customer and fan, but I'm not under contract. And I've held off deciding what to do until the AT&T thing played out. Now that they won't become AT&T, I'm looking at a new phone and re-upping my contract. I absolutely positively wasn't willing to do business with AT&T and their craptastic, shitgasm network.

          • As for phones, fine, they don't have the iPhone officially. They do, however, unofficially support unlocked iPhone models on their network.

            Does iPhone have the capability to operate on T-Mo's 3G band?

        • They're pricing is amazing if you go with the prepaid Walmart-only plan. Even though you have to get the starter kit from Walmart, you can bring your own phone. For 30 bucks a month, you can get Unlimited data (throttled after 5 gigs, but still much better than AT&T's best data plan on a post-paid account), Unlimited texts and 100 minutes voice (who needs voice minutes when you have data anyways).

          Buy your Android smartphone of choice, pop in the sim and you're saving ~70 bucks *a month* compared to AT

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          They are a GSM carrier, the vast majority of the phones sold in the world, though not in the USA, work with T-Mobile. They have a spectrum licence in the largest economy in the world. The other stuff can be sorted out. Someone will buy them.

        • It's really too bad carriers got tied to phones somehow in the US. In most other countries the choices are no more tied together than your choice of car and choice of gas station.

          • You can't really skip it even if you buy unlocked phones - problem is, all operators use different tech and/or different bands. Even sticking to GSM, AT&T and T-Mo have different 3G bands - so either you need a phone that supports both (they exist, but aren't common), or you're stuck with one of them if you want 3G.

        • I think T-Mobile has reached a state of corporate radioactivity. Their coverage is mediocre, their pricing is nothing extraordinary. and they have the worst phones of any major US carrier.

          I disagree. T-mobile has a nice GSM network with pretty good coverage. Their "4G" offerings have expanded considerably since the military has now vacated most of the AWS band. Their pricing is very competitive; To the point where AT&T depended on the iPhone to save their collective asses.

          As for your worst phones in

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            Yup, and besides, who buys Blackberries anyway? I think they've carried pretty-much every Nexus phone to date, several exclusively I think (especially if you count the ADP1/2 in with that).

            Sure, they don't have an iPhone, but people willing to spend the money on one of those probably aren't really their target market in the first place. I love that T-mobile works pretty-much anywhere I go, and it works at 3-4G speeds in virtually all of those places (and I mean I actually GET those speeds consistently).

      • by sdnoob (917382)

        centurylink won't happen.. they just took on over 10 billion in debt (overall debt now is 20+ billion) from the quest buyout... .... and you wouldn't want it to, either. they suck.

        besides, they were in the wireless game.. but the clueless morons that run the company sold that part off back in 2002 (to what was then, alltel).. idiots.. friggin idiots

        _____

        about time the government puts their foot down on these mega mergers... everybody wins.. especially tmobile. 4 billion in cash and spectrum is a pretty

        • by hedwards (940851)

          That might be so, but they're a hell of a lot better than Comcrap and Qwest. I see their trucks all over the place these days and it's way more frequently than can reasonably be explained by maintenance. I never saw this many Qwest or Comcast vehicles doing maintenance.

          Plus, they've actually upgraded the service that they're willing to provide over what Qwest was providing.

          • by faedle (114018)

            You "see their trucks all over the place" mostly because CenturyLink has painted all of the trucks.

            I know for a fact that many of the vehicles Qwest operated here in Portland were not painted at all. At the CO up the street it wasn't unusual to see about a third of the vans as plain-white. Add to that the fact that Qwest's (like most utilities) vehicles kind-of blend into the landscape after a while. It's likely that you didn't notice them because.. well, there's nothing to notice. You're noticing the

            • by faedle (114018)

              "not painted at all" should have been more accurately "branded". Of course they were painted.

              And that makes sense now that I think about it: Qwest had been looking for somebody to buy them out for at least a couple of years before CenturyLink counted their pennies to see if they had enough.

      • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Friday November 25, 2011 @01:22AM (#38163406)
        Google should buy them.
      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        ATT's goal, from what I gathered based off media coverage, was not really to "aquire" TMobile, but to prevent Sprint from doing so.

        With these actions, they may have "won". You see, for one there is the veredict. This veredict where they say "it would become the single largest provider" would also apply to Sprint. It's likely Sprint's aquisition would not had sparked this controversy, but now that the cards are in the table and the excuse is "they would be too big", ATT can use that same card againt any atte

        • They would be insane to send the money to apple. Granting that fanboy money is stupid and hence extra valuable, it's not worth that much.

          It would fund a 4G build-out nicely.

          • by Tharsman (1364603)

            No matter how you feel about the iPhone, a carrier is at a huge competitive disadvantage if you don’t offer it.

            Besides, T-Mobile has expressed in many occasions they want it.

            Besides, it's not like they have to send the 4 billions to apple. But the money would cover their ability to buy the minimum stock Apple demands carrier buy from them.

    • I'm guessing Carlos Slim, or that guy that owns most of the cell providers in Africa. Or the one in Brazil... Someone with both cash AND an entrepreneurial spirit that can recognize and take advantage of the potential. 4G does provide an opening as everyone has to build out. Realize that T-Mobile started out as a mundane customer-owned power utility in Idaho, had a short and unfortunate stint as a national fiber optics long-haul provider, then morphed again into the cell business. It has come a long way

      • Carlos Slim is an interesting possibility, but his record in the US is not great. The first corporate purchase he made here that I can think of was CompUSA, which he promptly watched get driven into the ground. Granted, that was a company that excelled at promoting wholly incompetent people to upper management and corporate purchasing decisions, but nonetheless he watched a moderately profitable company slide right past mediocrity and into bankruptcy. I don't see why we could expect him to improve T-Mobi
        • I remember CompUSA - I bought a laptop for a company I was involved wit, on a company account. They were incompetent at the time, but then so was the company. AFAIK the company never did pay CompUSA for the laptop.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I was thinking about getting a T-Mo phone, but then AT&T announced their intent to consume it and turn it into another tentacle of their operation. Now that's not happening, I can take another look. I suspect a lot of people will consider going to T-Mobile just because it's not AT&T and won't become AT&T soon.

    • by Sipper (462582) on Friday November 25, 2011 @06:46AM (#38164426)

      Just FYI: Deutsche Telekom has outright told workers at T-Mobile that if the deal with AT&T fell through that they would seek another buyer to sell T-Mobile to. The impression is that they want to get out of the US market, but remain in the European market.

  • So.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lifyre (960576) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:48PM (#38162748)

    Does this mean the merger is officially dead or is it just the first step in ending the merger? The article gave me the impression that the merger was still happening, kinda, but not with the FCC.

    -Sean

    • Re:So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Demonantis (1340557) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:01PM (#38162814)
      At&t is still pursuing through the DOJ. They are probably dropping the FCC application since it won't go through and they can wait until the DOJ review goes through. I think they are dropping FCC application so if the DOJ passes it they can argue that the FCC should follow suit and any of FCC's arguments would become weaker as the DOJ didn't have a problem. Wall Street Journal has a more informative article. According to it T-mobile is not doing so hot and the parent company is interested in exiting the US market. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204452104577057482069627186.html [wsj.com]
      • Re:So.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:37PM (#38162994)

        The New York Times had an even more informative article on this with the most likely reason -- if they continue with the FCC application, most of the records they filed for it become public, which the DOJ can then turn around and use against them in the antitrust suit. Quite likely, the horrific reality of all of AT&T's patently-false claims that were debunked months ago are spelled out in those filings and they don't want it getting out.

        The attempt to withdraw the FCC application is essentially an admission that they know the deal has less than zero chance. Another interesting point in the NYT is that the FCC is under no obligation to honor their request. They can deny it and force it to judicial review, or grant the withdrawal with prejudice (meaning AT&T cannot refile the application later, which would absolutely kill the deal).

  • $4 Billion? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Walking The Walk (1003312) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:52PM (#38162758)
    "4 Billion US dollars to cover accounting and other costs"

    Just what kind of other costs could they have? $4B is an awful lot of hookers...

    • Re:$4 Billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bill Dimm (463823) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:00PM (#38162806) Homepage

      T-mobile may have lost a bunch of potential customers while the merger was pending, i.e. anyone that hates AT&T would be very reluctant to to sign a phone contract with T-mobile knowing they would be stuck with AT&T if the deal went through.

      • And more importantly, they might have lost potential *buyers*. They want to be bought up by someone else, and that can't happen while there's a tentative deal on the table with another company. So wasting all this time and not having the merger go through was a potential risk for T-Mobile, and they can't afford to take that kind of risk so the big player has to pick up the tab on it.

        Also, it's not $4b cash, its compensation valued at $4 billion, I think like half of it is spectrum--which if you'll recall

    • by reub2000 (705806)

      I think that was put into the deal to make sure that AT&T was fully committed to seeing the deal through.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wisnoskij (1206448)

      I don't think the issue is how big were their costs but why they paid $4B. The article makes it sound like they just felt bad for the company and decided to give them the $4B. But obviously it is some under the table payment for something rather substantial as $4B is like the yearly revenue of a giant multinational company.
      It is not something that a company can just afford to give away or even write into a contract as a "if things don't work out" clause.

      • by todrules (882424)
        Are you serious? It's exactly what they put in a "if things don't work out" clause.
      • Re:$4 Billion? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:37PM (#38162996) Homepage
        On the contrary. It's exactly the sort of thing which would be written into a contract. For something similar, look at the recent war between HP and Dell over 3Par; Dell ended up being paid $72 million when they took the HP bid. This is a little more extreme, but then again, ATT is a $163 billion company.
      • Re:$4 Billion? (Score:5, Informative)

        by rabtech (223758) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:50PM (#38163056) Homepage

        I don't think the issue is how big were their costs but why they paid $4B. The article makes it sound like they just felt bad for the company and decided to give them the $4B. But obviously it is some under the table payment for something rather substantial as $4B is like the yearly revenue of a giant multinational company.
        It is not something that a company can just afford to give away or even write into a contract as a "if things don't work out" clause.

        Merger deals almost always include a play-or-pay clause because all the discovery, legal work, etc has real costs to the target company... it prevents non-serious bidders or those who would bid to shake confidence in the company then back out. It also covers stuff like customer/employee impact (people leaving in anticipation of the merger) and any proprietary information the acquirer might have picked up during the due diligence process.

      • It's fairly common in big mergers that take a long time for the preliminary contract to include an opt-out fee, so if either one backs out they pay the other some fee. It does take a lot of money, concentration and time to execute big mergers, and as noted above it also affects customers and employees - oftentimes the best employees bail out.

      • The article makes it sound like they just felt bad for the company and decided to give them the $4B.

        You know there's a stereotype about Polacks being stupid? And you know that most stereotypes are based on a grain of truth?

        The grain is you.

    • Yeah, even Eliot Spitzer was paying only about $4,000 per hookup.

    • Shit right. You could buy Portugal or Greece for that much.

  • by Fnord666 (889225) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:52PM (#38162764) Journal

    AT&T Stops T-Mobile Merger Bid With the FCC

    I didn't even know T-Mobile was trying to merge with the FCC. How did AT&T stop it?

  • As someone who's been following this merger bid for the past ~6 months, I must say, woot! Even if you disagree with the outcome here, the fact that there's finally been some sort of conclusion to this case is reassuring.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This isn't a conclusion. The DOJ is still reviewing the proposal. AT&T only retracted their application to the FCC. They can re-apply if they feel it is appropriate, i.e. if the DOJ gives their nod.

    • As someone who's been following this merger bid for the past ~6 months, I must say, woot! Even if you disagree with the outcome here, the fact that there's finally been some sort of conclusion to this case is reassuring.

      Why would somebody who supports the merger (or rather, somebody who doesn't think that the merger would result in a monopoly, and thus that the government should not stop it) be "reassured to have some sort of conclusion?"

  • Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macwhizkid (864124) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @10:59PM (#38162804)

    Gee, it's almost enough to make you believe that regulators can do their job once in a while. Maybe the FCC can run training seminars for the SEC...

    Regardless, it's the right decision. Mergers of this scale are bad for everyone except one of the two CEOs. One guy gets a promotion. Meanwhile customers lose choice, the market loses competition, employees lose jobs (when they become redundant), and shareholders lose their investment (when half get bought out).

    And that's before you factor in the (rightly) indignant T-Mobile customers, most of whom have sworn a solemn oath to do business with anyone but AT&T.

    • As the ancient Greeks said, don't call a man happy until he is dead.

      If AT&T can't get the bandwidth they need to expand and T-Mobile implodes is that better for competition? (I'm not saying I have an answer here, I'm just saying I'm not sure it is as clear-cut as more competitors always equals good.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That, and T-Mobile is the only competition to AT&T in the GSM/SIM enabled arena in the United States, and also the single least screw-the-customer-over-prone provider in terms of billing, plans, customer service, etc. in the country. Merging with AT&T will eliminate that competition, with the incentive for T-Mobile to be "better than AT&T" I can guarantee you the customer service would instantly become AT&T style and not T-Mobile style.

      T-Mobile has been the provider of choice in my area for

    • Maybe the FCC can run training seminars for the SEC...

      "Good morning everyone, today is the first day of our series of training semina...guys please stop masturbating. Please? This is gross. No? Alright well I'll wait for you to finish but then it's onto business."

  • by Sarusa (104047) on Thursday November 24, 2011 @11:28PM (#38162940)

    AT&T figures it should bring the full weight of bribes and lobbying to bear on one agency at a time... so they're starting with the DoJ. After they knock that off, then they can concentrate on the FCC.

    They're still in a bad position here that they didn't expect to be in, so I guess Verizon and Sprint had some pretty good counter-bribes under the table. The merger's in serious trouble at this point. To the bribe-mobile!

  • Asking as someone wanting to get a more educated answer from the good denizens of Slashdot:

    It's been stated on here before that there's been the trend of the phone industry to keep going through these mergers. I remember somebody posted a great flow chart of the monopoly breakup of old Bell and the subsequent acquisitions that followed.

    Is there any reason why this industry in particular keeps splitting and then gradually getting re-merged - is it any different than any other industry and just more pub
  • by xeno (2667) on Friday November 25, 2011 @12:51AM (#38163288)

    I've been with T-Mo for almost 15 years, and this is good news. Not great news -- I'm sure there will be more trouble for T-mo in some form or another -- but at least not this year, and probably not next. But you know what this does mean? I'm re-upping my contract with T-Mo. When T-Mo came calling last year (one of several "PLEEZ don't jump ship" themed customer retention campaigns) I told them desire to have a GSM phone was only trumped by a desire never to be an AT&T customer again. As long as the death star doesn't gobble them up, T-Mo can keep having my money.

    Oh, and btw -- T-Mo coverage is more than adequate across the US & Canada, (Iirc I still don't have coverage in rural Neb and WY, but no trouble anywhere else), data services are cheap, and they actually have decent humans in the corp stores. T-Mo isn't making money hand over fist, but they're doing _ok_, and that's good. In these times, in this economy, I want to give my money to an org that's doing _ok_: neither going out of business, nor robbing me. You hear that, T-Mo? "Ok" and "staying in business without f__king your customers" is the new black. So keep on keeping on.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      I did a 6 week road trip last summer, and across the 16 states I passed through, Wyoming and the National Parks were the only places I didn't get good service. Locally here in Northern California, my service is better than Verizon. The claim that T-Mobile has bad coverage is a myth.
    • My final 2-year ends January and I won't be looking back. T-mobile has proven to me that they have the worst customer service and are pure evil when it comes to overages. On top of that their standard pricing is nothing to be excited about. Coverage is spotty to OK around Atlanta, but drops 10 minutes off of main interstates in rural areas.

    • I'm a technological backwater when it comes to cell phones. I don't usually carry one, and definitely haven't bought into the idea of an expensive monthly charge for data+voice that goes with a smart phone.

      Some 10 years ago I signed up with a lowball limited minutes contract with T-Mobile for about $20/mo. It serves my minimal cell needs - a phone to carry when I travel or when I'm job hunting or I need to be in touch for some other reason, usually for my wife - perfectly well. I think I had an overage (abo

    • by Shatrat (855151)
      I agree with what you're saying about T-mobile. I switched recently and was shocked when the store employees didn't try and push any accessories or contract add-ins. They gave me the phone I asked for with the contract I asked for, and that was that. The coverage is comparable to what I had with AT&T and the data speed is fast enough not to be annoying.
      I'm very pleased with the FCC swatting this deal down.
      I would hope that Deutsche Telekom could just spin off T-mobile to be a separate entity and k
  • Wasn't there are story about the Chinese telecom companies trying to get into the US telecom business last week? Wouldn't a T-Mobile buyout by a Chinese company be the next step now that AT&T lost their chance? Wouldn't the current administration which is beholden to foreign investment funds be willing to sell T-Mobile to the Chinese? Is this too far fetched to image this happening?

    • China Mobile is the largest wireless company in the world. There have been persistent stories that they would like to enter the US market.

      Whether that would be accepted politically who knows.

  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory@ g m ail.com> on Friday November 25, 2011 @09:05AM (#38164798)
    Four <b>billion</b> to cover "accounting costs"?

    Can I be their accountants? I mean .... wow, no wonder they're going under.
    • by Shatrat (855151)
      The biggest accounting cost is when the accountants say "holy shit we lost X good employees and Y good customers when the AT&T thing was announced".
  • by Tangential (266113) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:53AM (#38165276) Homepage
    I've had service from all 4 of the major carriers (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and TMo) and they all sucked. How much they sucked depended to some extent on where I happened to be physically at any point in time and how much I had to deal with their customer service. In the case of TMo, they sucked on coverage, but they /really/ sucked the most on customer service. People complain about AT&T and Verizon customer service but I've had far more success with them than I ever did with TMo. I am not sure that I ever had a successful interaction with them and I finally dumped them after about 3 years of that crap.

    These companies aren't going to change. The mindset of the management teams and boards prohibits it. They will continue to screw their bases with bizarre pricing plans, poorly implemented limits and serious privacy issues. Maybe what we need is for them to continue to roll up into a couple of large, lumbering, unresponsive companies and then have someone nimble come in with new technology and decent plans and radically shift the playing field.
  • As I have said before, I am in love with Carly Foulkes (the T-Mobile spokes-model) and I intend to purchase whatever she tells me to buy.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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