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AT&T still mad about blocked merger, vows to take it out on customers

0. phoneArena posted on 03 May 2012, 11:27

AT&T's CEO is once again lashing out over their cancelled acquisition of T-Mobile, assailing market competition and promising to raise prices on its customers...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 03 May 2012, 12:13 3

16. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

FYI- The oil and gas companies aren't raising the price of oil and gas. When you run $1.5 trillion dollar deficits and monetize them (i.e. just print the money to pay the bills) you get this thing called inflation. The price of oil and gas hasn't gone up- the value of the dollar has plummeted.

posted on 03 May 2012, 12:42 2

28. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

So your saying the price of oil ISN'T over a hundred dollars a barrel right now? Com'on! The price has not only gone up, but it's doubled in that last 10 years. The oil and gas companies just like all the record profits they have been "earning" lately and they don't care what any country has to say about it.

posted on 03 May 2012, 13:11

34. Virile (Posts: 38; Member since: 01 Mar 2012)

then why am i paying less and less each week for gas?

posted on 03 May 2012, 17:04 1

56. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Virile - I don't know how old you are, but I remember when gas was .99 per gallon. It would cost me $12 to $14 bucks to fill up, but today it cost me $44.82 for a tank of similar size. True it may be going down pennies at a time, but oil and gas companies are screwing us big time.

posted on 03 May 2012, 20:57 2

71. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

ok, heres a sad truth.. when I started driving, it was 69 cents a gallon. lololol I used to fill my car up on like 8 bux. It was awesome!

One thing about gas that people tend to forget (lets just ignore that OPEC oil mob for a second) is that its finite. The closer we get to the end of the reserves, the higher the price is going to go. Supply and demand. There is what.. less than 40 years left in the current drill locations? That sounds about right. Im sure someone will correct me if im wrong.. lol

We need to get US oil up and running.. and we have more than the saudi's by far, before the world runs low. When it gets low, if we are not on alternative fuels or drilling all the reserves that are left, expect wars to become way more common than they are now.

posted on 03 May 2012, 22:40

80. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Oh...the good old days!

posted on 03 May 2012, 13:20 1

37. 14545 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Rollseyes. Yes, you are "paying more" for gas, but it is because a dollar HAS LESS purchasing power than it did 10 years ago. You can thank the fed for that. And the WORLD market sets the price of oil, not some "CEO". Stop talking, you don't understand how economies of scale work.

PS, clearly you also don't understand that the "profits" that the oil companies "earn" are only about 7-8% of their total revenue. Margins are what matter, not the actual dollars. Apple has a 40+% margin, but I don't hear you whining about that. Your voter registration card should be revoked for this stupid comment.

posted on 03 May 2012, 15:12 3

44. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

STUPID comparison about apple having a 40% margin and GAS 7 to 8% profit, NO ONE needs apples products to get around from place to place,
unlike GAS! and your BRAIN should be taken and given to someone who can use it more effectivly!

posted on 03 May 2012, 15:29 1

47. 14545 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Says the one that doesn't understand how gas prices(and oil prices) are set. If the "oil companies" were nationalized and did not turn a profit, you would ONLY see an DECREASE in gas prices by about 20-40 cents a gallon. I'm sure that you don't even realize that gas "taxes" make up a solid 20%, or in some cases more, of the price of a gallon of gas. So what was that about my "brain"?

So how about learning something about the world around you before you speak. Instead of just hitting the talking points you heard on your brand of news media.

posted on 03 May 2012, 22:56

81. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Rolleyes right back. I understand inflation and the reduced value of a dollar, the roll our defict plays, and your analogy of measuring with the crazy yard stick. My response what based on the comment that oil and gas prices are not rising. No matter the reason, the plain and simple fact is prices ARE rising. When $3.79 gas signs change to $3.85...that's a raise in the price of gas. The reasons for it rising do matter, but troybuilt was just making a very simple statement that AT&T is just as bad as the gas companies. I'm sure his statement was meant to provoke an Econ lesson. Relax my friend, we're just venting.

posted on 03 May 2012, 16:33 1

51. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

I won't rehash the corrections others have already made but I will say this. Trying to measure the price of something using dollars is like trying to measure the dimensions of a room using a yardstick that is never the same length.

If you look at the price of gas compared to gold or silver (hard currencies that have maintained stable value for thousands of years) it has actually gone down. An example- if you were allowed to purchase gas using the true value of a silver dime from the 50's, it would buy you about 5 gallons of gas. In the 50's, it would have bought 3 gallons.

posted on 03 May 2012, 17:20 3

59. 14545 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Judging by the Tups and downs, it appears that very few people actually understand how markets work. A simple community college econ class would do them some good.

posted on 03 May 2012, 21:05 1

73. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

people getting an education instead of following news headlines and politician grand standing??

how dare you, sir!


posted on 03 May 2012, 21:06

74. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

thats neat and all, but people dont pay with silver or gold, they pay with dollars. Since we are not on a gold standard or any other precious metal standard, telling people how much they can get with silver is pretty pointless. Nice analogy, but ya gotta know your audience.

posted on 04 May 2012, 10:01

87. audiblenarcotic (Posts: 114; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

Forget Oil... the wars of the future will be fought over fresh water.

posted on 04 May 2012, 10:06

89. troybuilt (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)

lol. Waterworld right?

posted on 04 May 2012, 10:05

88. troybuilt (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)

lol. That's because back in the 50's it was only change per gallon. I'm guessing you're not a history major. Prices of gas have gone up from mere change to what it is today. The value of a $1 hasn't changed, the prices have. It's common sense. Over the years population has increased greatly and prices go up. In the 50's this wasn't an issue.

posted on 03 May 2012, 13:14 4

35. 14545 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Please stop. Clearly, you have no idea how commodities work. You are a part of the problem in the world.

posted on 03 May 2012, 17:10 1

57. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Amen,14545. He must be one of those talking heads that sells inflated gold coins to seniors by praying on fears of a Dollar collapse.

posted on 03 May 2012, 17:26 1

62. 14545 (Posts: 1668; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Uh, you do realize that I agree with freemarketeer, right? The dollar is collapsing. Inflation is real. However anyone that buys "gold coins" is an idiot. You find gold for close to market value in many places, not for 1/3 of it's market value like those gold coins people sale. It is not a bad idea to be hedged with gold/silver, and other precious metals. If you follow the commodities markets you will see that the dollar is on the decline. As all commodities have increase by proportionally the same amount overall.

posted on 03 May 2012, 21:08

75. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

gold and the dollar have been very inverse lately, so actual gold investment hasnt been a bad idea in the least. in fact, had you invested in gold in 2000, you would be doing pretty well right now.

posted on 03 May 2012, 21:12

78. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

What do you think happens to a currency when you double the money supply in 5 years? The currency essentially loses half of what it was worth five years ago. Eventually you hit bottom where people no longer trust it, hence you have a collapse. That day is approaching rather rapidly because in power hold the same faulty views of economics that you do.

posted on 03 May 2012, 12:08 2

12. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Wow, could this article have been written with any more anti-AT&T bias? Seems very unprofessional

posted on 03 May 2012, 12:24 7

23. Scott_H (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)

The article doesn't actually attack AT&T as a company - and goes out of its way to not attack them over their desire to be more profitable. The issue is how their CEO's own words are hindering those goals and being condescending to the public. And that's quite a risk they are putting themselves at when there may be much more serious competition against the current network model by software companies in the near future.

posted on 03 May 2012, 12:09 1

13. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

Although I do agree that the merger between ATT and T-Mobile (or any merger for matter) should have been allowed to proceed, it is tough for me to have sympathy for Stephenson or ATT because they are talking out of both sides of their mouth. On the one hand, they look for the government to "regulate" their competition (read: produce enough barriers to entry into the market that they don't have any) but when their needs aren't served cry and complain.

It isn't competition that makes the delegation of spectrum inefficient- it the interference in the market by the FCC that does that. Rather than allowing spectrum holdings to be bought and sold like any other piece of property or real estate, everything has to be regulated and approved by a bunch of bureaucrats who have probably never worked in the private sector or have a clue about how a free market economy operates.

T-Mobile (and Sprint) developed their business model around being low-cost providers thinking they would be able to make up the reduction in their margins with volume. This hasn't been the case as the wireless industry (and technology in general) has been growing and changing at such a rapid pace that constant capital investment in infrastructure has been necessary to keep pace with growing demand. T-Mobile is now in an untennable situation: if they increase margins to fund network development, they lose the one thing they have been selling on- price. If they continue on their current trend, they go bankrupt. At this point an acquisition is a logical choice. The same goes for Sprint. This is what a free market is supposed to do- reward good choices and punish bad ones. Currently however, this process is being impeded by regulation.

Ultimately, it should not be the government and regulatory agencies that determine what the appropriate business decisions are for organizations, but rather the leadership of the organization meeting and anticipating the needs of their customers. Those who do this best, survive. Those who don't, die on the vine.

posted on 03 May 2012, 12:18 2

20. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

You said: "Although I do agree that the merger between ATT and T-Mobile (or any merger for matter) "
Really??? How would you like if all carriers merged,and your only choice became the worst carrier you ever did business with??? Would that make you happy??

posted on 03 May 2012, 16:28

50. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

It looks like you swallowed hook-line-sinker all of the bad economics you were taught in high school (the "robber barons", monopolies, etc) given the fallacies in your argument.

Say if your example came true and all of the national, regional, and local carriers all decided that they wanted to "screw" the consumer and merge because then they could set the price to infinity-billion dollars and us poor dolts could do nothing about it because we only have one option.

Here's where you're wrong. Simply because something has high demand does not mean it has an infinite price. Free markets place downward pressure on price through competition. Even if this new mega carrier held all the spectrum licenses, if it was delivering garbage for service at an extreme price, this would merely incentivize the market to find alternatives to said carrier. Maybe it would be a point-to-point VoIP system through WiFi, tin cans and string, who knows but incentives would be there for someone to come up with something better.

Also as businesses get larger, so do their operating costs which in turn means they have to generate increasing revenue to cover them. If they are not providing a sufficient product or service to the market, no one will buy which means they lose money and are forced to either lower prices or improve their product.

The only way a company can escape these rules of the market are if the government, through regulation and legislation, grant them a privilege over other participants. Did you ever wonder why cable and television services generally suck and why you only have a couple options? It is because thanks to regulation (which of course, is done for the benefit of us minions), there can only be said number of providers for a certain area. As an entrepaneur, I can't go out, acquire the capital, negotiate with landowners to lay cable, and start my competitive service that offers better service at a lower cost.

Essentially you are looking at price from the wrong direction. Businesses don't set the prices of their goods or service; consumers do through choice.

posted on 03 May 2012, 16:41 2

52. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Are you done with your thesis??? You are the one who swallowed up Friedman economics hook,line and sinker.

posted on 03 May 2012, 16:54

54. Republican (Posts: 99; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

Remember to vote Republican. Rommney for president for a return to the Bush Prosperity. Obama destroyed the economy.

posted on 03 May 2012, 20:50

69. freemarketeer (Posts: 28; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

Actually I am a student of the Austrian school which tends to explain more than Friedman and the Monetarists and a whole lot more than the Keynesian approach you apparently have.

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