AT&T responds to Justice Department's lawsuit

AT&T is striking back against the US Department of Justice. Back on August 31, the government agency filed a lawsuit against the wireless phone carrier, claiming that its proposed $39 billion merger with rival T-Mobile "would remove a significant competitive force from the market." Now Bloomberg reports that AT&T has filed its formal response to the Justice Department lawsuit, saying that the agency has yet to prove that there would be any reduction in wireless competition if the merger is approved.

In the filing, AT&T stated there are a number of competing wireless carriers, including Verizon, Sprint, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular, and others. It said, "The Department does not and cannot explain how, in the face of all these aggressive rivals, the combined AT&T/T-Mobile will have any ability or incentive to restrict output, raise prices, or slow innovation." AT&T also claims that its T-Mobile merger would eventually result in lower prices for its customers along with less dropped calls and an expansion of AT&T's own wireless network.

In fact, AT&T's official response took something of a cheap shot at T-Mobile, saying that the company is "the only major carrier to have actually lost subscribers in a robustly growing market." The Justice Department is still standing behind its lawsuit. It sent out a statement that said, "This transaction as currently proposed is anti-competitive and harmful to consumers." T-Mobile has yet to comment. Earlier this week, Sprint launched its own lawsuit against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger claiming that if approved it would "harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation."

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AT&T still can't handle simple POTS (plain old telephone system) problems. U-verse is erratic. If a company can't handle the easy stuff, they have no business trying to take on the hard stuff.

Thanks to AT&T, our cellular network is behind other developed countries such as Japan and Korea by at least 10 years. The network in Japan is much faster and much less congested. I haven't had any dropped calls during my time staying in Japan but very frequent in the US. The fact that U.S. is bigger than Japan is no excuse because signal drop can also appear in big cities and crowded metropolitan. Poor customer service and slow technological progress are not a good excuse for this wrong merger.

I agree with DOJ. To flip back on AT&T. Ask them with all the money they've made, they managed to hinder their network expansion in the past 10 years since the acquisition of Cingular. I don't see how adding T-Mobile would make any improvements what so ever. If you compare T-Mobile to AT&T, the network and technology growth rate is actually higher with T-mobile vs AT&T. In addition, the price point for T-mobile is still cheaper than AT&T. Last but not least, it was AT&T that started to cap bandwidth and stopped their unlimited services with Verizon followed suit. Instead of expanding their bandwidth due to the iPhone boom, they decided to cut back services instead. Isn't this a sign already they are being anti-competitive?

Yea, other competing carriers but not available to the while US and the coverage sucks. Tmo doesn't have great coverage but much better that carriers like US cellular. My contact with tmo was up in August and I will bail if this mergr goes thru

Couldn't the argument be made that AT&T and / or Verizon is already too big and should be broken up to create some real competition.

thealexweb said,
Couldn't the argument be made that AT&T and / or Verizon is already too big and should be broken up to create some real competition.

I honestly don't see where you would even draw the lines... And in the past, that hasn't really benefited consumers anyway...

"AT&T also claims that its T-Mobile merger would eventually result in lower prices for its customers."

When is "eventually"? I've had AT&T since Cingular and the price keeps going up, never down.

deundead said,
"AT&T also claims that its T-Mobile merger would eventually result in lower prices for its customers."

When is "eventually"? I've had AT&T since Cingular and the price keeps going up, never down.

It would never go down... It's just a ploy to get this merger through.

And here you have it, AT&T just admitted it, they have a dropped call issue!! So much for nothing wrong with their network..

" AT&T also claims that its T-Mobile merger would eventually result in lower prices for its customers along with less dropped calls"

chisss said,
really?... all carriers have dropped calls, no carrier is perfect... wow you just sounded very childish...

That's one of the things they promote, is the lack of dropped calls. When I was with Cingular, I would get them all the time. I have a LOT less with Verizon, but it does happen. They region I live in is so rural, most companies have little coverage.

farmeunit said,

That's one of the things they promote, is fewer dropped calls.

FTFY

And honestly, in my area, AT&T has far better coverage and speeds than T-Mobile anyway, so I was really hoping that the merger WOULD go through, since it would be a massive improvement in T-Mobile service where I live.

chisss said,
really?... all carriers have dropped calls, no carrier is perfect... wow you just sounded very childish...

I dunno. I've used AT&T, I've used Sprint, I've used Nextel, and I've used Verizon... I have never once had a dropped call on Verizon... Nextel was fairly reliable, Sprint wasn't tremendously bad, and AT&T was horrendous...

DT or TMO already sells the iphone and ipad in europe; has been for years. so why does not TMO USA not? Because of some sort of lock on them. talk about calling the kettle black. I am waiting for DT comments about all of this and I feel that DT may just decide to turn the table on AT&T and simply buy them out, They have the monies, the brand and reputation as world wide carrier that has a really good track record while AT&T has a somewhat shady status with their american counterparts. why are americans so scared of a world wide standard such as GSM anyhow. is it just to plain simple and straight forward or do they like wasting money left and right. remember the economic situation in the states and the world and sit down and really think about this.

how much you want to bet it does. my TMO (hungary) account from europe worked rather well while i was visting the states.

Elliott said,
The iPhone doesn't support T-Mobile USA's 3G frequencies, so...

belto said,
how much you want to bet it does. my TMO (hungary) account from europe worked rather well while i was visting the states.

No iPhone supports T-Mobile USAs 3G, you must have been using some good 2G

belto said,
how much you want to bet it does. my TMO (hungary) account from europe worked rather well while i was visting the states.

Since you were roaming anyway, it is quite possible you were working off of an AT&T tower instead of a T-Mobile one when you were here. As already stated, T-Mobile USA uses different frequencies for 3G than AT&T and all European carriers do.

No, I was most definitely using 3G. Hungary is one of the largest wireless users in the world. with a population of around 10 million (Statics wise) and most people in Hungary average about 5-7 mobiles in their household. Even young kids have mobiles with them. Hungary is a tech savvy country, if it were not for a Hungarian most people would not of heard about Microsoft Office and its Suites and why would DT let their sister company not be compatible worldwide? It is GSM of course. Have you heard of Tri-Band and Quad Band? We had one heck of a time explaining this to Carriers in the States at one time. They told us there is no such thing but when we took our mobiles out and showed that our TMO Mobiles Hungary was working on TMO USA Network they were bob-smacked.

thealexweb said,

No iPhone supports T-Mobile USAs 3G, you must have been using some good 2G

The new iPhone will support t-mobile frequency bands, att is scared about that. T-mobile have over 1 million iPhone users right now without 3G.

Tweaky Nippleton said,
I love how ATT conveniently ignores the fact that the only GSM competitor they have is T-Mobile.

It doesn't matter that they would own GSM. For one, the market is not defined by it because it if it were then Verizon wouldn't be a strong competitor to AT&T. If GSM was such an important distinction for custmers, Verizon would not be the #1 carrier today.

Two, it is very short sighted to think GSM will always be the technology used by the carriers. AT&T, Verizon, and now Sprint are all moving to LTE which will be the future for voice and replace CDMA and GSM. T-Mobile is the only company with no concrete plans to move to LTE because they kept with HSPA+ since they could get 4G speeds out of it. Part of the reason for T-Mobile to merge with AT&T is that it would give them a transition plan to LTE.