Friday, May 27, 2011

AT&T's Full Court Press

This past week has been a busy one for AT&T in their efforts to gain Federal approval of their acquisition of T-Mobile. As expected, AT&T is applying pressure for the deal, and other entities are d0ing what they can to oppose it. Here are a few highlights:

  • Several states, including California, have started a 'review' of the deal. They can't stop the deal but they can ask the feds to do so.

  • AT&T gained (strong armed?) the support of a handful of state governors in favor of the deal, uh, all are Republicans except one. Who's getting the most new cell sites this year?

  • Support comes from the AFL-CIO who might assume that T-Mobile employees would need to become unionized as AT&T employees. What are the chances anyone from T-Mobile will actually wind up working at AT&T, or even in the wireless business?

  • AT&T had the great timing to apply for additional 700 MHz spectrum. Why would they need additional spectrum if the T-Mobile deal will provide them with "enough?"

  • AT&T has over 100 registered Washington lobbyists. 'nuff said.

  • While Congress has no direct role in approving the acquisition, some members have stated extreme opposition with words like, "I see no redeeming reason” for federal regulators to approve the transaction, "Not one."

  • (Added at 4:15pm ET) The FCC has requested that AT&T must show why there is a need for so much additional spectrum and 49 other questions like how many "thousands of jobs will be created by the acquisition." This should lawyers in clover for months.
We expect this to actually become humorous as we hear even more extreme positions. I'm waiting for Sarah Palin to chime in, "Don't all the phones belong to AT&T?" You watch.

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