The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it has filed a motion to dismiss Verizon’s lawsuit in appeal of the FCC’s net neutrality order. Verizon did not agree with the guidelines set in the FCC’s “Open Internet” order and said it was “deeply concerned by the FCC’s assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself.” Verizon believes its complaint has grounds because the FCC modified its radio licenses, but the FCC sees it differently. “Notice of Appeal, however, applies only when this Court is asked to review an FCC order that modifies specific individual licenses. It does not apply to review of generally applicable commission orders that, like the Open Internet Order, regulate a broad camp of licensees as a class,” the FCC said in a release. “Jurisdiction over the Open Internet Order thus lies only under [a specific section] and Verizon’s notice of appeal in Case 11-1355 should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.” More →
In response to the U.S. government’s lawsuit against AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski issued the following statement on behalf of the FCC :
By filing suit today, the Department of Justice has concluded that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen competition in violation of the antitrust laws. Competition is an essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on competition. Vibrant competition in wireless services is vital to innovation, investment, economic growth and job creation, and to drive our global leadership in mobile. Competition fosters consumer benefits, including more choices, better service and lower prices.
AT&T responded to the DoJ lawsuit earlier and said that it plans to ask for an expedited hearing and is confident that the merger is “in the best interest of the consumers and our country.”
HP’s TouchPad Go was recently approved by the the Federal Communications Commission, which revealed some information on the unannounced tablet. The webOS device could be equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and a 3G radio, which would indicate HP is looking to launch it with at least one U.S. carrier. We first heard word of a 7-inch TouchPad tablet in January of this year and the most recent rumors revealed that HP could launch the device this month. It is possible we’ll hear more about the TouchPad Go in the coming days, and we hope it gains more consumer traction than the original TouchPad, which just had its priced slash by $100 to make it more appealing. More →
The Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday that it will review AT&T’s planned $1.925 billion acquisition of Qualcomm’s FLO TV lower 700MHz frequency band at the same time that it reviews the carrier’s T-Mobile USA merger. AT&T announced its intentions to buy spectrum from Qualcomm in December of last year and said it planned to deploy the spectrum as “supplemental downlink” while it built out its 4G network. That acquisition was originally expected to close during the second half of this year, but the FCC clearly has some concerns on the matter. AT&T said the FCC and Department of Justice are on schedule to approve the T-Mobile deal in March 2012, however this could be a ding to AT&T’s 4G network plans if it was relying on having the Qualcomm deal approved by now. The FCC’s statement follows below. More →
Yesterday we brought you exclusive images of AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S II slider and today we’re getting some info surrounding Sprint’s version of the phone. The Samsung SPH-D710 Galaxy S II recently passed through the FCC complete with a 4G WiMAX radio, which suggests that we could be hearing an announcement from Sprint in the coming weeks. Earlier leaks suggested that the carrier will call it the “Galaxy Within,” although that name still is not confirmed. We’re expecting the phone to pack the same internals as the European Galaxy S II, which means it should be equipped with a dual-core processor, plenty of on board memory, a brand new TouchWiz user interface, and of course Samsung’s stunning Super AMOLED Plus display. More →
Earlier on Wednesday, the Senate Subcommittee chairman Senator Herb Kohl urged federal regulators to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. On Wednesday afternoon, AT&T responded to Senator Kohl’s recommendation with the following statement:
We respect Senator Kohl. However, we feel his view is inconsistent with antitrust law, is shared by few others, and ignores the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction. This is a decision that will be made by the Department of Justice and the FCC under applicable law and after a full and fair examination of the facts. We continue to believe those reviews will result in approval of this transaction.
Despite opposition from Kohl and others, AT&T said that there are currently 26 governors, 76 democratic members of congress, 72 mayors, and unions that represent 20 million members that are in favor of the merger and argue that it will be good for consumers, provide jobs, and help the economy. In addition, Senator Mike Lee also made a statement today in support of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. “The mobile phone market is a critical component of our nation’s economy and the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deserves careful review,” Lee said. “In my view, the merger has the potential to provide significant network efficiencies that may help alleviate capacity constraints, enable enhanced service quality, and facilitate expansion of a 4G LTE nationwide network, which would in turn create opportunities for handset innovation and continued development of data-rich applications.” Lee also said that he’s confident the FCC and Department of Justice will ensure that the U.S. wireless market remains competitive. More →
Senator Herb Kohl, the chairman of the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee is recommending that federal regulators deny AT&T’s $39 billion planned acquisition of T-Mobile. ”I have concluded that this acquisition, if permitted to proceed, would likely cause substantial harm to competition and consumers, would be contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest, and therefore should be blocked by your agencies,” Kohl said on Wednesday. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Congressman John Conyers, and Congressman Edward Markey also recently wrote a letter to the Justice Department and the FCC expressing concern that the acquisition would hurt competition in the U.S. wireless market. “We believe that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would be a troubling backward step in federal public policy–a retrenchment from nearly two decades of promoting competition and open markets to acceptance of a duopoly in the wireless marketplace,” the letter said. “Such industry consolidation could reduce competition and increase consumer costs at a time our country can least afford it.” Sprint and its CEO Dan Hesse have also been very involved in trying to stop the merger. While Hesse has argued the deal will “stifle innovation” in the U.S. Wireless market, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued the opposite and has said it will result in “net job growth.” In June AT&T’s General Counsel Wayne Watts said that the deal, which has been backed by other big tech hitters such as Microsoft, was on schedule for a March 2012 approval. More →
Several advocacy groups have written a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in regards to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The letter specifically asks FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to “convene a series of field hearings around the country to hear from the people who could be most affected by the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile.” The advocacy groups believe that the acquisition would give AT&T nearly control of nearly 80% of the U.S. wireless market and that as such, “prices would rise, jobs would be lost, and innovation would suffer.” AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued that the acquisition would result in net job growth. Sprint, one of the deal’s most outspoken opponents, has also said that the purchase would stifle innovation in the U.S. wireless market. The groups that signed the letter include the Consumers Union, Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Initiative of the New America Foundation, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Future of Music Coalition, Media Access Project, and the Free Press. More →
In what is no doubt a response to Sprint’s statement Tuesday morning that AT&T is increasing its spectrum the wrong way by purchasing T-Mobile, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs, Tom Sugure, has issued a formal statement to those who oppose the acquisition. “The opponents of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger have had their final say as part of the FCC’s formal pleading cycle and, not surprisingly, they have failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view that the Commission should deny the transaction,” Sugrue said in the statement. Sprint, which has lashed back at the acquisition from the get-go has said the purchase will stifle innovation. “What is surprising, however, is their repeated head-in-the-sand insistence that no spectrum crisis exists,” Sugrue added. “As part of their application, AT&T and T-Mobile provided a compelling showing of their need for more spectrum to continue to provide quality service to customers and roll out new technologies in the future. And the two companies have demonstrated that a combination of their networks and spectrum holdings is by far the best way to solve this problem and ensure improved service and enhanced innovation. The FCC has long acknowledged the harmful consequences of ignoring the spectrum crunch, and we are confident it will approve our proposed market-based solution.”
On Friday, AT&T announced that it has officially filed a public statement with the Federal Communications Commission in support of its planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. AT&T argues five main pillars in its statement:
- The transaction will generate jobs and economic growth.
- The transaction will preserve and promote competition and innovation.
- The wireless market will remain vibrantly competitive.
- The network capacity of the combined company will far exceed the sum generated by its pre-merger parts.
- Numerous competitors will have ample spectrum to maintain the vibrantly competitive U.S. wireless market.
In a clear response to claims from Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse that the acquisition would “stifle innovation,” AT&T also argued “nothing about the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA could possibly keep Sprint or any other provider from acting on the same incentives it has today to keep innovating in this unusually dynamic ecosystem.” Hit the jump for AT&T’s full release. More →
Sprint’s already been very vocal about its opposition to AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom, but on Tuesday the carrier officially asked the Federal Communications Commission to step in and block the purchase. In its 377-page filing, Sprint argued that the acquisition would make AT&T the nation’s largest carrier with a total of 118 million subscribers and a 43% grip on the postpaid market. The carrier added that Verizon and AT&T would earn 78% of all wireless revenues and the “Twin Bell” duopoly would have an 82% grasp of the postpaid market, making it difficult for other carriers such as Sprint to compete. AT&T, meanwhile, has argued that the acquisition will create jobs, will not stifle competition, and will help deliver high-speed wireless broadband to 97% of U.S. residents. More →
AT&T will pay T-Mobile $3 billion in cash, a $1 billion roaming agreement, and $2 billion in spectrum if the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice reject AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The agreement’s 15% breakup fee would shatter global records, Reuters said, noting that the 7.7% breakup cash agreement is already high. On Wednesday, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson met with the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the acquisition. AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued that there’s already plenty of competition in the U.S. wireless market and that the deal will actually create jobs. Similarly, the Communications Workers of America backs the deal and believes it will be a “victory for broadband proponents. AT&T’s competition isn’t so sure. Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” and the carrier believes it would create a “vertically integrated duopoly.” Verizon has kept to itself, but did note that, if confirmed, the deal could be “an excuse for the government to insert itself into the marketplace.” More →
It’s no secret that U.S. wireless provider Sprint is not a fan of the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The company’s CEO, Dan Hesse, has been very forthcoming with his concerns — mainly that the merger will create a duopoly between AT&T and Verizon Wireless — and now the carrier is looking for even more anti-merger ammunition. Bloomberg is reporting that Sprint representatives have “signed confidentiality agreements in advance of possibly gaining access to filings that won’t be available to the public.” The merger, were it to go through, would relegate Sprint to a distant third-place amongst U.S. wireless carriers, having just over half as many customers as its next competitor, Verizon Wireless. AT&T is seeking FCC and Department of Justice approval for the blockbuster merger that is expected to be complete within the next year. More →