U.S. Mayors, Governors Support AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

Lora Bentley

The mayors of more than 100 U.S. cities declared their support for the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger this week. The mayors, representing cities such as Miami, St. Louis and Sacramento, signed a petition delivered to the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, in which they urged the agencies to approve AT&T's acquisition of the smaller wireless provider.

 

According to PCWorld, the governors of 26 U.S. states and 11 state attorneys general, also joined in the petition. Supporters say the merger will make mobile broadband more widely available as well as improve its speed and reliability, not to mention encourage innovation in the mobile space.

 

 

Opponents, on the other hand, say the combination will instead stifle innovation and competition. In fact, in an "opposition letter" also released this week, Consumer Watchdog told regulators AT&T made similar promises before it acquired Cingular Wireless, but never followed through.

 

For its part, the FCC announced Monday that it will review AT&T's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile at the same time that it considers whether AT&T should be permitted to purchase $1.9 million in wireless licenses currently held by Qualcomm. International Business Times quotes an FCC statement as follows:

We have concluded that the best way to determine whether either or both of the proposed transactions serve the public interest is to consider them in a coordinated manner at this time.


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Aug 31, 2011 9:31 AM Hydrogen Hydrogen  says:

AT&T's merger with T-mobile will be a disaster for the public. As it stands the AT&T plans to "repurpose" T-mobile towers to increase coverage gaps and bottlenecks for AT&T clients at the expense of current t-mobile clients. If you're a current T-Mobile client, expect your service to diminish greatly. Also one less wireless provider means less competition and higher prices in the long run. Expect higher prices for less service in the years to come. As it stands, AT&T has already started doing this with home internet service by placing "data caps" on home internet users. AT&T now limits how much bandwidth you are allowed per month, overages result in additional charges. Current DSL service limits you to 150GB per month and U-Verse clients are allowed 250GB per month.

It may seems like a lot, but if you or your kids play online video games, watching movies or tv-shows online, 150GB can run out in a couple of days if not sooner. In certain areas AT&T has bought out the competition and left residents with no choice but to use their service. Most S. Florida residents are now limited to 2 service providers, AT&T and Comcast. Both have high prices, Data caps and unreliable service. After AT&T's acquisition of Bellsouth, they stopped allowing other ISP's to use the bellsouth networks to provide competitive rates resulting in the loss of 4 other major ISP servicers in the area.

Expect this merger to increase all cellular providers prices and force Sprint Nextel to file for bankruptcy, as they would not be able to compete. This will probably result in the loss of Boost Mobile as well since it uses Sprint's network.

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