Losers abound in AT&T deal with T-Mobile
T-Mobile users are up in arms about the proposed acquisition. With video updates.
"It's hard to find winners, apart from AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders," Om Malik writes on the GigaOM technology blog. The biggest losers in the deal, he says, would be consumers. That's because T-Mobile has offered cheaper voice and data plans and because the market would have only three main national players: AT&T, Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S).
Phone handset makers would also lose, Malik writes, because there would be one less carrier that would buy GSM-based phones from shops like HTC and Motorola (MSI).
T-Mobile customers are up in arms. Having your carrier acquired by the worst cellphone company in the U.S. wouldn't make anyone happy.
Post continues after this video of the head honchos at both companies defending the deal:
"I really dislike AT&T," one T-Mobile user wrote in a customer forum. "We can expect constant rate increases as they squeeze as much cash out of us as they think they can get away with."
Many T-Mobile customers expect price hikes. "I find AT&T always goes on these merger sprees which they can't afford, and then they turn around and raise fees for everyone under-contract," another user wrote.
But technology expert Glenn Fleishman sees a silver lining. Yes, prices would likely go up, he wrote, but quality would also. "AT&T and T-Mobile customers will see an immediate and huge improvement in call quality and coverage area once the merger is approved," he wrote. "Both companies keep users as much as possible on home networks in areas in which both firms provide service. "
Sprint, of course, would be a huge loser because it would drop to last place among the national wireless carriers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sprint had been talking with T-Mobile about a deal, but AT&T rushed in and essentially grabbed T-Mobile out of Sprint's hands. Sprint shareholders were showing their displeasure Monday, sending the stock down 15% to $4.29 in midday trading.
AT&T shares, meanwhile, were up more than 1% to $28.31. T-Mobile is a unit of Deutsche Telekom (DTEGF).
Sprint ended last year with about 50 million subscribers. With T-Mobile under its belt, AT&T would have 130 million subscribers.
There's one final group of potential losers: iPhone users. AT&T would have a tougher time integrating T-Mobile, because its network is already overloaded by iPhone users, one analyst told Bloomberg.
"That network is already struggling and has been ever since they landed the iPhone, so that network isn't ready to dump a bunch of T-Mobile customers onto it," said the analyst, Craig Moffett of Sanford Bernstein.
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Gotta love the irony. Almost thirty years after the government broke up the original AT&T for its stranglehold on telecommunications in the US, they're now poised to be back on top bigger than they ever were! Funny how that happens... Guess you need several decades to get enough politicians in your pocket to overcome any antitrust judgements. It would be so nice to believe that the FCC will prevent this from happening...but once again, consumers will be trampled in the rush to bigger piles of money for a corporation. There's no way this is a good deal for phone users: AT&T's network is already overloaded so adding T-Mobile customers will only make it worse. More importantly, it means one less carrier for people to choose from. And those unlimited voice and data plans from T-Mobile? Kiss them goodbye.
I think this must be all my fault: I was with Cingular and then AT&T bought them. So I switched to T-Mobile to avoid AT&T like the plague. And here they go again.
T-Mobile has (had?) the best customer service - just the absolute opposite of what is in store for us with AT&T. I pay T-Mobile about $45 a month for data and voice - that will go to at least $60 (or more likely $70) with AT&T.
I dislike AT&T so much that I bought an unlocked AT&T Blackberry Torch for $500 just so I could stay on T-Mobile. It was worth $500 to me to not be on AT&T.....and now here I am.
Piss on At&t. Either way you go with this merger, the consumer is the one that loses out. I have 18 days till my contract is up with At&t and I will opt to go to net 10 and pay for minutes at my leisure and, even better, stay anonymous by paying cash for minutes when I need them. It's just too bad that most of Americans are just sheep and will blindly pay whatever is asked of them out of shear laziness.
My heart goes out to the soon to be unemployed masses after this disaster of a merger goes through.
Hate AT&T. Have had nothing but bad experiences with this company, no matter whether it is land line, cell phone, or Yellow Page ads. The most pompous business I have ever dealt with! Hopefully this merger will be denied!
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