T-Mobile

John Gapper

AT&T has spent the past few weeks denying that it was about to drop its bid for T-Mobile USA, despite the heavy regulatory opposition. It has now done precisely that.

I was originally against the deal, arguing in March that:

The US performs badly in fixed-line broadband services in terms of price and speed compared with other countries, hurt by Verizon and AT&T having shrugged off the imposition of competition. The last thing the US now needs is AT&T, which already has mobile operating margins of more than 40 per cent, pulling that trick again.

Come on, DoJ. Just say no.

The US Department of Justice subsequently came out against the deal, along with the Federal Communications Commission. AT&T has taken the medicine, paying the proposed deal’s $4bn break-up fee and going back to square one. Read more

John Gapper

The news that AT&T is taking a $4bn charge to cover the break-up fee it will owe to Deutsche Telekom if its takeover of T-Mobile fails is concrete evidence of how badly it has done in its campaign to convince regulators. To which I say, good.

I have been against the AT&T and T-Mobile deal from the start, arguing that it would enable AT&T and Verizon to replicate in mobile the duopoly that they and the cable companies enjoy in fixed line telephony and broadband. Read more