WASHINGTON, March 21, 2011 - Nationwide wireless carrier, AT&T announced Sunday that it had finalized an agreement to acquire competitor T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock.
The deal between the nation's second- and fourth-largest carriers would likely create the largest nationwide wireless carrier, topping current leader, Verizon.
“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO through a statement Sunday. “It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more."
AT&T touted the projected benefits of the acquisition in its press release, from helping achieve President Obama's high-speed wireless deployment goals to helping alleviate an impending spectrum crunch. Monday morning, however, is certain to bring industry and government questions regarding the transaction's effect on competition in one of the nation's most highly concentrated industries.
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, released a statement Sunday evening, portending competition questions that are certain to be asked in the coming weeks and months.
"Competition is essential to promoting a vibrant wireless market, where consumers have a choice in the innovative services and devices available to them," said Eshoo. "As the FCC and DOJ begin their regulatory and antitrust review, I urge them to carefully examine the proposed transaction."
Industry watchdog, Public Knowledge, also released a statement shortly after the announcement, condemning the consolidation from four major carriers in the market to three "unthinkable."
“The fact that AT&T and T-Mobile would even think of such a combination shows how desperately the U.S. needs both strong network neutrality rules and a competition policy that requires dominant broadband providers to make their networks available to competitors,” said Gigi Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge.
Before the acquisition is finalized, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice will conduct a regulatory and antitrust review of the transaction. The FCC's standard of review for whether to give the transaction the go-ahead will depend on whether it determines it is in the best interest of the public. The Commission has taken up to a year to pass on similar mergers.
- Broadband Roundup: More on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, 5G National Advocacy, and Policy Hackers
- Panelists on NTIA Broadband Webinar Say Smart Buildings Boost Civic Resiliency and Public Health
- Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Subject of Debate at Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on the Future
- FTC Settlement with YouTube Has Creators Upset and Worried About FTC Approach to Children’s Privacy
- Government Needs to Step Up and Regulate AI Algorithms, Argue Authors at Brookings Institution
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China2 months ago
Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Open Access3 weeks ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
Broadband's Impact3 months ago
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Praises Agency’s Work in Promoting High-Speed Internet at ‘Broadband Heros’ Event
Open Access2 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Partnerships with Morgan, Utah, Idaho Falls, and Other Cities
Broadband Mapping & Data3 months ago
Broadband Data From Providers Needs to be Checked With Data From Users, Say Panelists at Mapping Event
FCC2 months ago
As Next Year’s C-Band Auction Looms, FCC Officials Reflect on Innovation in Spectrum Auctions
Education2 months ago
State Educational Technology Officials Say Better Broadband Necessary for Pedagogy and Equity
House of Representatives3 months ago
C-Band Hearing Showcases Divisions Over Auctions, Uses of Radio Frequencies