An unnamed FCC official has said that AT&T faces a serious battle to win approval for its proposed $39bn acquisition of fellow GSM wireless carrier T-Mobile USA. "There's no way the [FCC] chairman's office rubber-stamps this transaction. It will be a steep climb to say the least," the official told The Wall Street Journal. The …
I can translate this for you
We will have to bribe the FCC much more than usual, and come up with some creative yet non enforceable conditions so the FCC can save face...
then it will be approved
even worse than that
It usually means the company will have to float the next presidents campaign ala Microshaft and W Bush in 2000. In democracy the only truly free speech is speech backed by the gold.
"all of whom have solid track records of being hostile to privacy"
T-Mobile USA has to comply with CALEA (See: < https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act >) and with the FBI's DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, and the other, classified, system, called DCS-5000 - which means they think you are a spy or a terrorist - can circumvent most any of the inconveniences that T-Mobile presents.
Triangulation techniques, using cell site reception parameters, have progressed to the point where location can be achieved measured in the single digit metres, unless obscuring RF technology is used.
A single FCC ruling could bring T-Mobile into the standard practice of other carriers. Sprint has gone even further when itestablished a website so that law enforcement agencies would no longer have to go through the trouble of seeking the assistance of Sprint employees in order to locate individual Sprint customers. This website was then used to ping Sprint users more than 8 million times in a single year. (Congressional evidence)
I am fashionably outraged over this. At least until American Gladiators comes on.
This move is completely in line with the FCC's vision for a highly competitive, consumer-friendly and anti-monopolistic business environment seeing as how the FCC took such a tough regulatory stand on usage based billing, traffic shaping and mobile broadband.
The chairman would NEVER rubber-stamp something that is guaranteed to be harmful to the consumer. No. NEVER.
Yes. Of course. It all makes sense. The internal consistency of the United States telecoms regulator is astounding!
"The internal consistency of the United States telecoms regulator is astounding!"
If what you're saying is that they have concrete in their colons, to whom do you expect they will ultimately give that tough shit?
The real question is
Will the FCC effectively reduce the US market to Verizon and ATT? At this point, for most people with a GSM phone you have a choice of phone companies ... you can either get crappy service from AT&T or you can get it from T-Mobile. Merge the two companies and there is only one company with GCM service in the US.
It it time to break up AT&T again?
You expect pro-consumer anti-trust action in THIS country with THESE politicians?
They never should have been allowed to reform again, let alone after sixty years of grinding and painstakingly slow litigation. That's a whole different clusterfuck there, though.
On the face of it...
There is no need for a year of thinking about it.
The answer should be NO, and not only NO, but HELL NO.
I don't even see the point of pretending otherwise... Apart from the obvious corruption that will be involved, of course.
Still not clear
On one hand, we have AT&T which is the new name for Southwestern Bell Corp after it was split from AT&T and then swallowed 22 other split off bell companies and the original AT&T. On the other hand we have Verizon which was formed Bell Atlantic merging with GTE (the other phone company at the time of the AT&T breakup) and basically owns most of the other bell companies along with MCI and others.
Now then, post acquisition we would have AT&T and Verizon which, in theory, would be different from the time of the original breakup when we had AT&T and a smaller GTE. Oh, now I see, that is completely different because Verizon isn't GTE... no wait.
Shouldn't go through
This deal should NOT go through. T-Mobile's network has almost 100% overlap with coverage AT&T already has. AT&T has absolute loads of spectrum, they just do not manage it very well. Loads of people use T-Mobile because they either did not want to pay the (MUCH!) higher rates of AT&T or Verizon, or they decided they wanted a GSM phone but fled AT&T's pervasive network problems, or fled AT&T's ridiculous 2GB cap with cash overage for T-Mobile's "unlimited" (they throttle past 1GB, but do not have any data limit.)
So, a merger like this just reduces competition, and gives AT&T spectrum they don't really need in most cases.