AT&T responds to DOJ lawsuit, calls MetroPCS and Cricket a bigger threat than T-Mobile

AT&T responds to DOJ lawsuit, calls MetroPCS and Cricket a bigger threat than T-Mobile
Filing a formal response to the DOJ lawsuit against its proposed purchase of T-Mobile, AT&T made some interesting comments. Claiming that the removal of T-Mobile from the competitive landscape would do no harm to consumers, the carrier writes that as a result, the DOJ has no reason to believe that a combined AT&T/T-Mobile would be able to raise prices, restrict output or slow innovation. Taking a dig at T-Mobile, AT&T says that the government cannot explain how T-Mobile-the only major carrier to have lost subscribers in a "robustly growing market"-gives AT&T a competitive challenge.

So who is AT&T afraid of in the current environment? The filing claims that MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless, Cellular South and U.S. Cellular are "innovative upstarts" that present more of a competitive threat than T-Mobile. AT&T tells the court that if it is not allowed to buy T-Mobile, wireless consumers will face higher prices and lower quality. Will AT&T actually be able to get the court and the DOJ to see things its way? Surely the "T-Mobile is not a threat" argument will face plenty of resistance from the government.

source: Phonescoop

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50 Comments

1. Galen20K

Posts: 568; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Att is full of it, as always and not like anybody is surprised.

3. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

is full of it? verizon is the one who denied themselves the iPhone which att got rich on... att worked for the money and shud be able to buy tmobile.. but whether or not att rescues tmobile, its undoubtedly tanking...

11. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

How does VZW not getting the iPhone guarantee no loss of competition when one competitor gets absorbed into another? The DOJ and FCC have objected on the grounds that competition will suffer if AT&T is allowed to acquire T-Mobile, not that AT&T got fat off of VZW not getting the iPhone.

16. Yeeee

Posts: 190; Member since: Aug 02, 2011

they should be using this money to build out lte and expand 3g

17. Bacon_Hat unregistered

Verizon didn't want the iPhone since it would have ceded too much control to Apple. Verizon is another story where the no 1 guy doesn't take risk or innovate since its already on top. At&t is already showing these tendencies. "AT&T Mobility’s CEO Ralph de la Vega said it will take AT&T between 2 and 3 years to bring its LTE network coverage up to a par with Verizon Wireless’ 4G offering." Hope you At&t people like to know while you pay similar prices to Verizon you will always be behind in technology.

19. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

What do you mean VZW "denied themselves the iPhone". VZW was never offered the original iPhone. Apple was strictly working on GSM phones at that time. VZW told customers they didn't want it to save face, but trust me, the executives were all over it from the word go.

21. Bacon_Hat unregistered

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2007-01-28-verizon-iphone_x.htm Its a well know fact that Verizon was offered it first....

32. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Believe me, those were the rumors that were passed throughout VZW call centers as well.  But according the Verizon's CEO, Apple wasn't interested in making a CDMA phone.  I don't know why Jim Gerace said different, but here's a couple articles published about VZW and the OG iPhone.   http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/01/14/verizon_was_never_in_the_running_for_original_iphone_says_ceo.html http://www.phonearena.com/news/Verizon-CEO-says-that-the-carrier-never-had-a-shot-at-the-original-Apple-iPhone_id15983

27. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Apple approached Verizon before agreeing with Cingular. Verizon balked at Apple's terms, and as a result, there was no deal between Verizon and Apple. Cingular and its successor ATT locked up Apple. When Verizon saw Apple's success, they realized they made a mistake and underestimate the power of the iPhone. The iPhone's success was something very few people could have accurately forecasted. The fact remains Verizon had a shot at the iPhone and blew it.

30. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

verizon was very clearly offered the iPhone before att (cingular at the time)... i was stating that verizon was the one full of it while att saw promise and has gotten rich off of the iPhone.. i personally do not think att buying tmobile is any more anticompetitive than google buying motorola..

22. TKFox007

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

Verizon never denied it, they never had a shot at the original iPhone because Apple wanted it to be GSM. The "Verizon rejecting the iPhone" is the biggest publicized rumor that no one ever decided to correct.

28. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

That's not what the previous CEO of Verizon stated in numerous business magazines. It was the previous CEO that approached Steve Jobs and asked why is Verizon in the "dog house" and that led to renewed discussions between Apple and Verizon.

34. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I don't know if we'll ever know the full true, but there are conflicting story both from VZW and from the Apple side of things. Either way, nether company was negatively effected by the decision. Although VZW could have gotten millions more customers, they still managed to become the largest cellular carrier in the US. Apple sold MILLIONS and MILLIONS of iPhones. The only party that seemed negatively impacted was ATT. Their customer service ratings and reputation took a drastic nose dive and hasn't recovered since. Now that's kinda weird.

43. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Check out this link: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/524791-the-business-insider/105917-verizon-s-ceo-opens-up-about-steve-jobs Key highlights from the Fortune article that the author summarized: "Fortune is the latest to report the iPhone is coming to Verizon next year. It reports this nugget at the top of a big profile of Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg. While Seidenberg doesn't confirm (on the record) the iPhone is coming to Verizon, he does open up about Verizon's negotiations with Apple through the years. Here's how it went down: • In 2005, Apple approached Verizon about carrying the iPhone. Verizon balked at giving Apple so much control. • In 2007, just before the iPhone launched, Seidenberg went to Apple's HQ and asked Steve Jobs, "Why are we in your doghouse here?" (The two companies hadn't spoken since Verizon balked at Apple's terms in 2005.)" You have to read the article, but when it comes out of the CEO's mouth, it's clear Verizon blew it.

44. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Don't get me wrong, I saw that the former CEO said it. But the current CEO and the one before this one (Lowell McAdam) both say different. These are basically three different companies (Apple, Verizon and VZW) and four different former and current CEO's involved. And it seems one isn't communicating well with the others or some kind of break. I read all the same articles and it all just leaves me wondering who to believe.

2. virtuo city unregistered

cant compare tmobile to to cricket or metro pcs...first of all you have cdma on one side and gsm on the other....and who's to stop att/tmobile to raise the prices and stall innovation once the deal is approved?

4. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

I would call them other wireless companies that still want subscribers so therefore they will keep bringing better service and better phones with better prices. ATT buying T-mobile won't cause the apocalypse everyone is saying.

6. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

But really what would they gain buy spending 39 billion just to raise prices....that makes no sense at all....

40. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Exactly. I don't even know why they decided to bring those providers up. People visiting the US will use either TMo or AT&T for roaming. If there's no TMo, AT&T will be by default. You'd be surprised by how many people roam onto AT&T without knowing their expensive charges. US has one of the largest, greediest and expensive cellular service providers in the world. Have you tried roaming in Canada while on AT&T?

5. myclevername

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 07, 2010

Maybe AT&T shouldn't have started running commercials about their takeover of T-mobile which in turn caused people to start leaving T-mobile because they didn't want anything to do with AT&T? Feel free to send this argument to the DOJ! If AT&T gets T-mobile then they will be able to dictate to the cell phone manufacturers how things need to be on the largest GSM network in the country. AT&T can dictate that hones need to be loaded with irremovable crapware, phones need to be exclusive to AT&T or they will just not carry your line, your phones need to be this and that or else, your phones need to use Google or Bing only as their primary search engines, etc, etc, etc....

7. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

but you forget that att does not make phones they simply provide service for them.

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Oh really? Have you forgotten the part about how AT&T will be a gate-keeper to 130 million odd customers? That has some leverage on manufacturers.

14. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

do you really think they will keep all those customers.....not at all they will at least have to give up 25% of those customers just like verizion when they got alltel....besides phone manufactures are in business to make money they will produce only what the consumer wants...if they dont thenthey will end up like nokia and rim loosing market to new phones/os that gives consumers what they want I mean look at android os....

20. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Then what is your explanation for no Sammy GSII on VZW? Is it because VZW customers don't want the GSII? Or, maybe it is because VZW decided they didn't want to offer the Sammy GSII?

31. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Verizon has its own reason for rejecting the latest variant of the GSII. Maybe Verizon did the numbers of the last experiment such as the Galaxy S Fascinate v Captivate v Vibrant v Epic 4G and realize its better off not playing ball. I don't the answer and that includes most of the people here. I do know Verizon doesn't have to explain themselves.

46. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

dont kno maby they has something else in store for vzw

29. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Cingular took a gamble on the iPhone and decided to meet Apple's terms. ATT, the successor to Cingular, grew its customer base in part due to the success of the iPhone. And here is the point people forget, ATT gave Apple a great deal to maintain its exclusive contract on the iPhone. That information points to financial incentives as opposed to customers since the iPhone played an important role in the growth of ATT's customer base. That so called "leverage" had more to do with money than customer base.

39. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

And phone manufacturers will provide hardware for those with a large market otherwise there'd be no profit. Service providers don't require the need to go out and request a certain phone from a certain manufacturer. It's the other way around.

8. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I think this merger should happen. It's good for business.

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Whose business? Certainly not for cellular subscribers who will be hit with increased fees to pay for the merger cost.

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