Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

By on December 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM.

Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

Judge Ellen Huvelle approved a joint request by AT&T and the Department of Justice to delay a lawsuit regarding AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA. AT&T requested a stay in the suit on Monday and said it was working with Deutsche Telekom to prepare the best defense possible. “We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies’ wireless assets,” AT&T said in a statement on Monday. The Department of Justice has also sought a delay, or an entire dismissal of the suit, since it believes a ruling is unnecessary now that AT&T has withdrawn its FCC application to purchase T-Mobile USA. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Justice Department lead attorney Joseph Wayland said recently. The pretrial proceedings for the Department of Justice’s suit against the merger will begin on January 18th, 2012. More →

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AT&T CEO says blocking T-Mobile merger will increase wireless prices

By on December 9, 2011 at 4:55 PM.

AT&T CEO says blocking T-Mobile merger will increase wireless prices

AT&T chief executive officer Randall Stephenson recently said in a Captains of Industry interview with Bloomberg that blocking his company’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA will increase wireless prices for consumers. Stephenson explained that AT&T needs T-Mobile in order to expand its already strained network capacity, and that Congress doesn’t understand wireless policy. “Regulators can’t keep up with the changes in the industry,” Stephenson said. AT&T recently withdrew its application from the FCC to acquire T-Mobile USA and said that it will first focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. Should AT&T win the lawsuit, which is expected to begin in February, the carrier will then likely refile its application to purchase T-Mobile with the FCC. More →

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MetroPCS CFO says AT&T’s planned T-Mobile buy is likely to fail

By on December 6, 2011 at 8:00 PM.

MetroPCS CFO says AT&T’s planned T-Mobile buy is likely to fail

MetroPCS chief financial officer J. Braxton Carter recently said AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA is likely to fail. Carter’s comments were made during a UBS investor conference in New York City on Tuesday, during which he said the proposed merger is “almost kind of moot at this point given the intense opposition by the government.” MetroPCS was named as one of several U.S. wireless carriers originally interested in purchasing spectrum from AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T recently pulled its merger application from the FCC to focus on a lawsuit that was levied against the proposed merger by the United States Justice Department. Hours after AT&T withdrew its application, the FCC released a 109-page report suggesting AT&T was not going to win the FCC’s blessing anyway. AT&T’s lawsuit with the DOJ is expected to go to trial in February of next year. More →

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Facebook acquires Gowalla, service to begin ‘winding down’ in January

By on December 5, 2011 at 6:50 PM.

Facebook acquires Gowalla, service to begin ‘winding down’ in January

Gowalla on Monday confirmed it was recently acquired by Facebook. “About two months ago, my co-founder Scott and I attended F8,” Gowalla co-founder and CEO Josh Williams wrote on the company blog Monday. “We were blown away by Facebook’s new developments. A few weeks later Facebook called, and it became clear that the way for our team to have the biggest impact was to work together. So we’re excited to announce that we’ll be making the journey to California to join Facebook.” Gowalla will begin to “wind down” its services in January but will allow users to export their passport and pin data, stamp collections and photos. Williams said Facebook is not acquiring Gowalla’s user data. Neither Facebook nor Gowalla discussed the terms of the acquisition. More →

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AT&T issues scathing response to FCC report [updated]

By on December 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM.

AT&T issues scathing response to FCC report [updated]

AT&T has issued a scathing letter in response to the FCC’s decision to release a staff report on its findings surrounding AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “We expected that the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction would receive careful, considered, and fair analysis,” Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs, said. “Unfortunately, the preliminary FCC Staff Analysis offers none of that. The document is so obviously one-sided that any fair-minded person reading it is left with the clear impression that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered analysis… The report cherry-picks facts to support its views, and ignores facts that don’t. Where facts were lacking, the report speculates, with no basis, and then treats its own speculations as if they were fact.” Read on for more.

Updated with statement from Sprint More →

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FCC bashes AT&T/T-Mobile merger in public report

By on November 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM.

FCC bashes AT&T/T-Mobile merger in public report

The Federal Communications Commission released a 109-page report on Tuesday evening that provides a great deal of insight into what the government agency thought of AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. However, AT&T has questioned exactly why the government agency decided to release the report since, hours before the report was released, AT&T successfully withdrew its merger application. The FCC said that the acquisition would give AT&T a “unilateral incentive” to increase its prices, which could have had an echo effect on the industry should Sprint and Verizon Wireless follow suit, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read on for more. More →

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Public policy groups accuse AT&T of merger ‘gamesmanship,’ call for release of FCC docs

By on November 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM.

Public policy groups accuse AT&T of merger ‘gamesmanship,’ call for release of FCC docs

Putting it simply, AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA is beginning to sound like a game of chess (with a sprinkle of politics, of course). Public Knowledge and Media Access Project requested Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission release documents related to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The two public policy groups argue that “the public deserves for the Commission’s determinations to see the light of day.” AT&T recently withdrew its acquisition application from the FCC to focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. The organizations believe AT&T pulled its application so that it can “seek a favorable decision” in federal court and then use that ruling to win the FCC’s approval. Read on for more. More →

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AT&T granted approval to withdraw T-Mobile merger application from FCC

By on November 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM.

AT&T granted approval to withdraw T-Mobile merger application from FCC

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday granted AT&T permission to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Two public policy groups, Public Knowledge and Media Access Project asked the FCC to publish its documents relating to the deal and to prevent AT&T from rescinding its application, although it appears it’s too late for that to happen. AT&T announced its intention to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA on November 24th when it explained that it was going to instead focus on a lawsuit brought against it by the Department of Justice. That case is expected to kick off in February. Should AT&T win, it is likely the wireless carrier will re-file its application with the FCC and begin its acquisition process all over again. Public Knowledge and Media Access Project have argued that AT&T will have unfairly exhausted the resources of its competitors by the time it re-files for the merger.

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AT&T withdraws FCC application for T-Mobile merger

By on November 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM.

AT&T withdraws FCC application for T-Mobile merger

AT&T said Thursday that it has withdrawn its application from the Federal Communications Commission to acquire T-Mobile USA. AT&T and Deutsche Telekom said they will instead focus on fighting an antitrust lawsuit brought against the proposed $39 billion merger by the Department of Justice. AT&T made the announcement Thursday following the FCC’s decision earlier this week to hold an administrative hearing regarding the purchase. The FCC said it was unsure the acquisition would create jobs, as AT&T has promised. Read on for more. More →

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AT&T: FCC is preventing the creation of thousand of jobs, billions in investment

By on November 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM.

AT&T: FCC is preventing the creation of thousand of jobs, billions in investment

AT&T on Tuesday issued a statement after the Federal Communications Commission took preliminary steps toward blocking AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The FCC said it is not convinced the merger will in fact create jobs as AT&T has promised, and it said it will hold an administrative hearing to examine the deal. The hearing, however, will not take place until after the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the merger, which will go to trial in February 2012, runs its course. “The FCC’s action today is disappointing,” AT&T’s senior vice president of Corporate Communications Larry Solomon said in a statement. “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the US economy desperately needs both. At this time, we are reviewing all options.”

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Motorola stockholders approve Google deal

By on November 18, 2011 at 8:25 AM.

Motorola stockholders approve Google deal

Motorola Mobility on Thursday announced that stockholders voted to approve Google’s proposed $12.5 billion merger. At the company’s special stockholder meeting on Thursday, roughly 99% of Motorola shares voting cast their vote in favor of the acquisition, which amounts to $40 per share in cash for complete ownership of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased and gratified by the strong support we have received from our stockholders, with more than 99 percent of the voting shares voting in support of the transaction,” Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Google to realize the significant value this combination will bring to our stockholders and all the new opportunities it will provide our dedicated employees, customers, and partners.” First announced back in August, Google intends to acquire Motorola Mobility and run it as a separate entity in terms of operations. As Google CEO Larry Page explained, however, patents are also a big part of the deal. Google intends to use the tens of thousands of patents it will control as a result of the merger as a new line of defense in a series of patent battles between its various Android partners and aggressively litigious companies like Apple and Microsoft. Motorola’s full press release follows below. More →

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T-Mobile USA saving cash to keep top execs if AT&T merger passes

By on November 17, 2011 at 11:30 PM.

T-Mobile USA saving cash to keep top execs if AT&T merger passes

T-Mobile USA has been setting aside cash that it plans to use in an effort to keep its top employees on board should AT&T’s proposed $39 billion takeover of the firm gain U.S. regulatory approval. The carrier has reportedly already recorded $64 million in merger-related employee costs during the past two quarters. A spokesperson for T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that T-Mobile USA is indeed saving money to keep “top employees on board” after the deal closes. AT&T originally said the deal would close by March 2012, however it recently pushed that date back after the U.S. government filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the acquisition.

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AT&T’s planned T-Mobile merger will create 96,000 jobs, CWA says

By on November 9, 2011 at 7:15 AM.

AT&T’s planned T-Mobile merger will create 96,000 jobs, CWA says

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said on Tuesday that AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA will create 96,000 additional jobs in the United States and bring another 5,000 others back from overseas. The union said Sprint and other opponents of the merger are “inappropriately” implying that the deal will actually result in job cuts and says such conclusions, which were reached in a Sprint-commissioned study, are the result of “sloppy research and the inability to distinguish between the change in the number of wireline and wireless jobs.” Read on for more. More →

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