AT&T says T-Mobile deal will close later than expected

By on November 4, 2011 at 5:55 PM.

AT&T says T-Mobile deal will close later than expected

AT&T has pushed back the date it expects to close the books on its planned merger with T-Mobile and spectrum purchase from QualcommThe Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The carrier had originally planned to close both acquisitions by March of 2012, although it now expects the required approvals to take as much as three months longer to gain. The carrier now says the deal should be approved by the end of the first half next year. AT&T recently ran into speed bumps with both deals. In August the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would review both AT&T’s spectrum purchase from Qualcomm and its merger with T-Mobile USA at the same time. Later that month, the U.S. government sued AT&T in an effort to block the T-Mobile acquisition. AT&T has argued that the T-Mobile purchase will provide jobs and improve wireless service for Americans. It also responded to the FCC lawsuit, saying it will “vigorously contest [the] matter in court.”

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AT&T asks Sprint to disclose competition plans pending outcome of planned merger

By on November 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

AT&T asks Sprint to disclose competition plans pending outcome of planned merger

AT&T recently requested that a federal judge push Sprint to reveal what its plans for competition will be pending the outcome of AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Sprint has been a staunch opponent of the deal and it is clear that AT&T has at least some worry Sprint may try to team up with T-Mobile should the purchase be denied. “Sprint is a strong and vibrant competitor as evidenced by events in the past six months — a fact that is critical to AT&T’s defense of DOJ’s claim that the challenged merger will dampen competition in the mobile wireless industry,” AT&T attorney Steven Benz, who is an employee of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, said. In addition to AT&T’s request, U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle recently allowed Sprint and C Spire Wireless to move forward with lawsuits that were filed in opposition of AT&T’s planned merger. AT&T recently asked Huvelle to toss the lawsuit and argued that “Sprint cannot wrap itself in the cloak of wireless service consumers’ interest because Sprint is not a consumer but instead a competitor in the sale of wireless services.” Huvelle disagrees. “Where private plaintiffs have successfully pleaded antitrust injury, the fact that they are defendants’ competitors is no bar” to filing a suit, Huvelle explained. “We believe the limited, minor claims [Sprint and C Spire Wireless] have left are entirely without merit,” AT&T senior executive vice president and general counsel Wayne Watts told Reuters. More →

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Motorola Mobility to shed 800 jobs ahead of Google merger

By on October 31, 2011 at 6:10 PM.

Motorola Mobility to shed 800 jobs ahead of Google merger

Motorola Mobility will spend $31 million as it lays off 800 employees ahead of its planned acquisition by Google, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Motorola said in a regulatory filing that it would spend $27 million in employee severance and an additional $4 million closing a number of existing facilities. “Motorola Mobility continues to focus on improving its financial performance by taking actions to manage the company’s costs,” company spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson told Bloomberg. Google announced its intentions to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion on August 15th. Google CEO Larry Page said the acquisition would provide Google with patents that will help the company defend its Android partners in lawsuits with Microsoft, Apple and others. More →

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Sprint denied access to AT&T documents in fight against merger

By on October 25, 2011 at 7:05 PM.

Sprint denied access to AT&T documents in fight against merger

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle recently shot down Sprint’s request to access a number of documents related to AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “You don’t stand in the shoes of the consumer or the Department of Justice,” Huvelle said. Sprint originally sued to block the merger in September, shortly after the U.S. Justice Department filed a similar case in August. AT&T recently asked a judge to toss the suit entirely and, like Huvelle, said Sprint was not in a position to argue from the consumer’s standpoint. “Sprint cannot wrap itself in the cloak of wireless service consumers’ interest because Sprint is not a consumer but instead a competitor in the sale of wireless services,” AT&T said in the September court filing. Read on for more. More →

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MetroPCS interested in buying AT&T/T-Mobile assets

By on October 21, 2011 at 9:45 PM.

MetroPCS interested in buying AT&T/T-Mobile assets

MetroPCS is interested in purchasing spectrum and subscribers from AT&T and T-Mobile, Bloomberg said Friday. Leap Wireless and Dish Network were also approached and Leap may still be interested in making an offer. The deal with MetroPCS would likely amount to less than $4 billion. In August, The Wall Street Journal revealed AT&T had hired Bank of America’s Merill Lynch to advise it on selling as much as $8 billion in assets. Later that month, the United States government sued to block the planned merger when the U.S. Justice Department said the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the U.S. wireless market. Read on for more. More →

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Microsoft completes $8.5 billion Skype purchase

By on October 14, 2011 at 10:50 PM.

Microsoft completes $8.5 billion Skype purchase

Microsoft announced on Friday that it has completed its $8.5 billion purchase of Skype. Skype will exist as a new division within Microsoft and Skype CEO Tony Bates will continue to serve as the head of the Skype team. In addition, Skype’s employees around the globe will remain in their current offices. Microsoft confirmed that it will work to integrate Skype into its existing products, but it did not specifically say which products or when that would begin to happen. “We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. The acquisition is still pending completion in several other countries. Read on for the full press release. More →

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AT&T responds to FCC, says merger will ‘create thousands of jobs’

By on October 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM.

AT&T responds to FCC, says merger will ‘create thousands of jobs’

On Thursday the FCC wrote a letter to AT&T stating that the carrier failed to submit enough information detailing how it will create jobs in the United States, should its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA be approved. AT&T responded to the letter said said it “is aware that the Commission has requested additional information about the job related effects of the transaction,” noting that it “intends to respond fully to that request.” The carrier highlighted the following information, which reiterates its promise to keep AT&T and T-Mobile jobs and bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the United States:

In the process, the merger will spur billions of dollars in additional investment, create thousands of jobs, and significantly narrow the digital divide while advancing the Administration’s rural broadband objectives – all of which will aid the nation’s economic recovery and future economic strength without the expenditure of public funds. On top of that, AT&T has made significant job commitments, including our commitment to make a job offer guarantee available to existing T-Mobile USA non-management employees, our commitment to retain the two companies’ U.S. call center employees, and our commitment to bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the U.S.

AT&T also said the merger will “unleash billions of dollars of investment in advanced mobile broadband technologies, provide LTE coverage to 55 million more Americans, and create thousands of jobs in one of the most challenging economic environments in modern history.”

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FCC: AT&T failed to address how proposed T-Mobile merger will add jobs

By on October 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM.

FCC: AT&T failed to address how proposed T-Mobile merger will add jobs

Rick Kaplan, chief of the Federal Communication Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, sent a letter to AT&T on Thursday asking the carrier to clarify just how the proposed merger with T-Mobile USA will add jobs in the United States. “Our review of the information currently in our record suggests that AT&T’s responses on this issue remain incomplete,” Kaplan said. The FCC is giving AT&T until October 31st to address fully “all plans, analyses and reports discussing the creation or loss of jobs” if the merger is approved. AT&T must also disclose how many T-Mobile USA jobs will be eliminated and show how the merger will affect employment inside and outside of the United States during the next five years. AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson argued earlier this year that the proposed merger would be a “net job grower” in the United States. On August 31st, AT&T promised to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States if the merger is approved, which was the same day the U.S. government filed a lawsuit in opposition of the deal. More →

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DOJ wants more info on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility purchase

By on September 29, 2011 at 8:50 PM.

DOJ wants more info on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility purchase

The United States Justice Department has issued a request for more information from Google and Motorola Mobility concerning the search giant’s planned $12.5 billion acquisition of the phone maker. Google senior vice president Dennis Woodside explained that his company is still confident the deal will be approved. “We believe very strongly this is a pro-competitive transaction that is good for Motorola Mobility, good for consumers, and good for our partners,” he said, noting the “second request” form the DOJ was routine. “While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes. We’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review.” Google announced in August that it intends to purchase Motorola Mobility and, shortly after, CEO Larry Page noted that Motorola’s patent portfolio will help Google’s Android partners against competitors. Despite public statements in support of the acquisition from HTC, Samsung and other Android heavy hitters, BGR has argued the purchase could potentially spell trouble for Motorola’s competitors. More →

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Google asks judge to secure ‘competitively sensitive data’ in AT&T/T-Mobile case

By on September 28, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

Google asks judge to secure ‘competitively sensitive data’ in AT&T/T-Mobile case

Google asked a federal judge to secure “competitively sensitive data” that may be revealed during the Justice Department’s investigation into AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Google said the data it provided to the investigation is related to its Android operating system and it fears the information could be leaked to the press or its competitors. “Without such additional protection, Google and other non- parties could find their confidential information — such as Google’s business plans related to Android — in the hands of competitors (or their competitors’ consultants), or even in newspapers, without having had prior notice of its disclosure,” Google said. The U.S. government filed a lawsuit in opposition of the merger on August 31st, noting that the merger would “remove a significant competitive force from the market.”

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AT&T: Sprint has been lying for months about motives for opposing T-Mobile merger

By on September 22, 2011 at 3:20 PM.

AT&T: Sprint has been lying for months about motives for opposing T-Mobile merger

The already-bloody battle over AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA recently became an all-out war. Sprint has been vocal with its opposition of the merger since day one, and comments from company CEO Dan Hesse on Wednesday may have shed some light on a previously undisclosed reason for Sprint’s stance. “I don’t believe that what the DOJ said in any way, not even a little bit, should be viewed as we want to keep four,” Hesse said at an investor conference. “My view is [the Justice Department] would look at other consolidation very differently.” Hesse went on to suggest that a “very strong argument” could be made that regulators would approve a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. In light of these comments, AT&T has gone on record in stating that Sprint has been lying about its motives for the past several months. Read on for more. More →

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Sprint CEO suggests AT&T can’t buy T-Mobile, only Sprint can buy T-Mobile

By on September 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM.

Sprint CEO suggests AT&T can’t buy T-Mobile, only Sprint can buy T-Mobile

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has been an outspoken opponent of AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA since it was announced earlier this year. Hesse has repeatedly warned that such a merger would “stifle innovation” and put “too much power would be in the hands of two,” and it is understandable that the CEO of the nation’s No. 3 wireless carrier would take such a stance. The Sprint chief may have given the world a bit more insight into his motives on Wednesday, however, when he made some interesting comments at an investor conference. More →

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Verizon goes to bat for AT&T, defends T-Mobile merger

By on September 22, 2011 at 8:10 AM.

Verizon goes to bat for AT&T, defends T-Mobile merger

Verizon Communications chief executive Lowell McAdam has gone on record in suggesting that the company’s biggest rival, AT&T, should be allowed to complete its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “That match had to occur,” McAdam said at an investor conference on Wednesday, warning that the government has no choice but to allow such mergers unless it can focus on getting telcos the increased spectrum they need to operate. He continued, “We need to be very thoughtful on what the impacts would be to the overall industry if this is a way to regulate the industry without actually passing regulation.” Read on for more. More →

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