AT&T Statement on FCC’s
Release of Staff Draft Report

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on November 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President-External and Legislative Affairs: 

“The FCC has recognized that it is required by its own rules to dismiss our merger application.  This makes all the more troubling their decision to nonetheless release a preliminary staff report on the merger.  This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on.  It is simply a staff draft that raises questions of fact that were to be addressed in an administrative hearing, a hearing which will not now take place.  It has no force or effect under law, which raises questions as to why the FCC would choose to release it.  The draft report has also not been made available to AT&T prior to today, so we have had no opportunity to address or rebut its claims, which makes its release all the more improper. ”

Comments (9)

Last Wednesday, a day after the FCC called for an “administrative hearing” on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger that signaled the agency’s opposition to the deal, AT&T responded that it was taking its ball and going home. The phone giant announced that it was pulling its application for the merger from the FCC, and would entirely focus on the Department of Justice lawsuit to stop the deal.

AT&T hoped its move would stop the FCC from releasing a damning report detailing its findings about the proposed merger, which would backup the agency’s claim that the takeover would harm the public interest. AT&T gambled that without the application, the FCC wouldn’t publish the draft report.

Today AT&T lost that bet. The FCC — which has been winning chutzpah points lately — announced that it will allow AT&T to withdraw its application, but that it will also release its draft report… all 109 pages of it.

From the beginning, it’s been clear that this merger would kill tens of thousands of jobs, raise prices for consumers and destroy competition in the wireless market. This draft report will likely confirm this (we’ve only just begun to read it). This news is just one more indication that this deal is done.

manpan November 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Very simple. They didn’t buy your line of crock about the benefit to the public and realized all it was is another power grab to monopolize the industry.

david collins November 30, 2011 at 4:41 am

Meanwhile, it just took over two minutes to open this page on an iPad in New York while roaming on T-Mobile….

Joshua Tulgan November 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm

IMHO, I’m glad the FCC released the report. It was fairly clear from the start what appeared AT&T was doing (based on its history and other corporate mergers/buy effects on consumer/freemarket – i.e. IBM and the old AT&T – pre-Green) was to stifle competition. Competition is good. For example, in the UK, large players – MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) compete. Vodaphone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile. In the UK there are many MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators). There are many here, but they aren’t the same as the MNOs.

Yes, “build outs” cost money. Planning/financing for volume gets the money in. A reasonable profit for a reasonable price makes for a fairly satisfied consumer and a good solid bottom line. Gouging the consumer is almost always short-sighted. The long-term player usually wins.

Some regulation is needed to protect both the industry and the consumer against “fly-by-night” operators, but allowing a single SIM (GSM) card player to literally control the industry could be very detrimental to the consumer and choice.

Just my two-cents.

Ed the Pilot November 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm

well att …….. say goodbye to many many customers

Dusty Macey November 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I feel AT&T is mad at the release because their merger application submitted to the FCC is chocked full of mistakes and errors. I spent the better part of 3 hours last night reading the FCC’s report and I was simply dumb founded with numerous mistakes in AT&T’s mathematical and engineering modules. For example, here’s an error the FCC comments on page C-19, paragraph 40:

40. Third, the elasticity the Applicants used to convert the quality improvements into price equivalents is only for T-Mobile and is also not supported by any churn data analysis. Rather it is an unsupported assertion based on an assumption used without justification or other indicia of credibility in a single internal marketing report.

If you read onto paragraph 41 and 42 on the same page, the FCC points out additional errors. The FCC mentions a mathematical error AT&T made in paragraph 41 on page C-19. The FCC points out error after error.
Who is AT&T fooling here ?? I feel they want to merge with T-Mobile to delete competition in the marketplace and to end T-Mobile’s “disruptive force” which consist of low prices and faster data speeds.

Love-Robust-Competition December 2, 2011 at 3:55 am

(Continued)
It appears AT&T’s business model has always been to say within its “Monopolistic DNA” mode. AT&T has benefited from its monopoly past and over the decades the company has amassed tremendous corporate wealth. Non-monopoly companies like Sprint, MetroPCS and Leap cannot compete with a wealthy giant like AT&T or Verizon. AT&T feels like if it keeps gobbling up companies, everything will be OK. Hey guys, the merger days are over for AT&T. You are big enough.

It appears like AT&T wants to repeal the Clayton Act. I’ve read in the press where AT&T is talking to members of Congress to rein in the FCC. Does this mean repealing the Clayton Act Jim Cicconi??

Love-Robust-Competition December 2, 2011 at 3:58 am

(Continued)
I am an AT&T customer (Cell, DSL, & Landline). AT&T needs to improve its customer service and lower its prices, then it will pick up more customers. If I need to call repair for my landline, the business office is only opened M-F from 8-5. This is madness. Why can AT&T not stay open till 11:00 pm?

For a second there, Randall L. Stephenson felt he was in Ed Whitacre’s shoes. Whitacre merged agressively and now, AT&T has reached its limit. So, Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Cicconi lick your wounds because you lost out on this merger.

You’ve made several mathematical and engineering errors in your FCC application and you failed to realize that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger would make AT&T a very harmful juggernaut anti-competitive monster.

Instead of focusing on mergers try improving customer service and lower prices. You may find you’ll pick up millions of customers this way.

Source:
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db1130/DA-11-1955A2.pdf

Love-Robust-Competition December 2, 2011 at 3:59 am

Hey, it appears that the report has been withdrawn! I am not able to access. Can any of the bloggers share a copy ?

Ganesh Krishnan December 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

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