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Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers 367

adeelarshad82 writes "AT&T recently announced that it will buy T-Mobile for $39 billion. If the transaction gets approved by the government and closes in a year as planned, it will create the nation's largest wireless carrier by far. While this is great news for both companies, analysts believe that it's an awful idea for end consumers for a number of different reasons — from obvious ones, like a rise in rates due to lower competition, to subtler ones, like more selective phone choices for consumers."
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Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers

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  • $39 BILLION!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @03:51PM (#35563596) Homepage

    Where was that $39 billion when it came to putting up and maintaining signal towers? Where was that $39 billion when it came to customer service? Where was that $39 billion when it came to the outlandishly expensive service?

    All this money, and what does AT&T do with it? It's like a slap in the face for their own customers.

  • What competition? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @03:54PM (#35563628)
    There is no real competition in the US mobile market, only the illusion of competition.
  • Misleading story (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 21, 2011 @03:56PM (#35563668)

    Anyone reading this story might think that AT&T had bought T-Mobile, rather than just one of their operating companies in a foreign country a long, long way from their home market.

  • Re:$39 BILLION!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @03:56PM (#35563676)
    Those wonderful 39 billion don't generate cash when put into more towers, customer service or anything that other wise improves the service they are providing. Where as spending 39 billions to take over a competitor and gain a mess load of new customers does. In short they don't care about anything besides the $$$$$ which shouldn't surprise you, considering they are a corporation and are by nature soulless evil things.
  • Re:$39 BILLION!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:00PM (#35563734) Homepage Journal

    They will suddenly have to maintain all of T-Mobile's hardware, but it won't do them that much good. AT&T's 3G and T-Mobile's 3G use different bands, and the vast majority of phones don't have the hardware to support both. At best, they could offload a little bit of 2G voice and EDGE traffic.

  • Re:$39 BILLION!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:12PM (#35563914)

    The company is amoral. The management are evil.

  • Re:$39 BILLION!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:19PM (#35564018) Homepage

    Or as the wonderful Canadian documentary The Corporation [] pointed out, if a corporation is legally a person, then it is a sociopathic person. It's not that they're actively trying to do bad things, it's just that they don't care if they do evil, so long as it benefits them.

  • by WatertonMan ( 550706 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:25PM (#35564088)

    Let's see. Everyone yells at AT&T because they can't provide the coverage and bandwidth iPhone users need. AT&T tries to install more towers but ridiculous levels of regulation and red tape either limit their ability or make it take such a long time it's the same thing. AT&T sees a competitor with towers who is losing money and wants to sell. AT&T buys said competitor as the only way to provide the support customers demand.

    Customers immediately become furious with AT&T rather than the ridiculous government regulations keeping AT&T from providing desired services and demand (wait for it) more government regulation to ensure we all have crappy coverage within the United States.

    People then step in and blame all the problems not on too much regulation but on deregulation. (And yes, I agree it's not just an issue of deregulation or regulation but smart regulation - however let's be honest. How often do politicians pass laws with smart regulations?)

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:27PM (#35564108) Homepage

    You're overstating your case a bit.

    Some markets do lend themselves to consolidation like this. If you were a hypothetical omnipotent and benevolent Grand Pooh-bah of the cell phone market right now, you could cut costs of cell service significantly by reducing things to a single carrier, and then sell the service at cost. But instead, we have profit-driven corporations, who want to cut the costs but keep the prices at their current higher (and thus inefficient) price.

    Other markets don't consolidate as easily, which is why, say, plumbers aren't all working for a handful of big conglomerates.

  • Re:Led Zepplin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by royallthefourth ( 1564389 ) <> on Monday March 21, 2011 @04:32PM (#35564174)

    Does that sound like free capitalism to you??

    Yes. Capital is free; you are not.

    Social relations are replaced by market relations so instead of each person having equal freedom intrinsic in his existence, money itself becomes a measure of the decisions a person is able to make. They've got billions of dollars and you probably have only a few thousand.
    This is the meaning of freedom created by the marketplace.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray