- John Podesta jumps aboard Obama ship to sell second-term agenda
- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
AT&T will drop bid for T-Mobile
Justice had sued to block merger
LOS ANGELES | AT&T Inc. is hanging up on its $39 billion bid to buy smaller wireless provider T-Mobile USA, nearly four months after the U.S. government raised concerns that it would raise prices, reduce innovation and give customers fewer choices.
The formal end of the deal was heralded by critics. No. 3 carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. had feared “an undeniable duopoly” between the proposed new entity and current leader Verizon Wireless. The two companies would have controlled over almost 80 percent of the cellphone market had the deal gone through.
“This result is a victory for the millions of Americans who use mobile wireless telecommunications services,” Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole said. “A significant competitor remains in the marketplace and consumers will benefit from a quick resolution.”
The Justice Department sued on Aug. 31 to block the merger, and the Federal Communications Commission’s chairman came out against it last month. That prompted the companies to withdraw their FCC application while they strategized their next move.
“This is like receiving the divorce papers for a couple that’s been separated for years,” he said.
AT&T’s purchase of fourth-ranked T-Mobile, announced in March, would have made it the largest cellphone company in the U.S. AT&T is now the second-largest wireless carrier, with more than 100 million subscribers, behind Verizon Wireless, with 108 million. Sprint has 53 million, followed by T-Mobile at 34 million.
T-Mobile endured without much investment from its parent company and without the highest-end devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone. It offered value packages to customers who brought phones from other carriers. Regulators feared the loss of T-Mobile as a competitor would hurt consumers.
AT&T will now have to pay Deutsche Telekom $3 billion in cash as a breakup fee and give it about $1 billion worth of airwaves, known as spectrum, that AT&T doesn’t need for the continued rollout of its high-speed “4G” network.
AT&T will take an accounting charge of $4 billion in the current quarter.
In pulling out, AT&T said the government’s attempts to block the deal do not change the challenges of the wireless phone industry. Cellphone companies have been clamoring for more airwaves to meet growing demand for faster downloads on smartphones and tablet computers.
The company said the deal would have solved that problem for a time, and without it, “customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.”
AT&T said it will continue to invest, and it called on the government to quickly approve its purchase of unused spectrum from Qualcomm Inc. and come up with legislation to meet the nation’s long-term needs.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Listening to the heartbeat of Louisiana, including events, food, family and culture.
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow