AT&T To Buy T-Mobile USA For $39B (NYT / DealBook)

AT&T announced Sunday that it had agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in a deal that would create the largest carrier in the nation and promised to reshape the industry. CNET: From a network and technology perspective, the merger is a no-brainer, but the companies may have to do some smooth talking to get the deal approved by regulators. CNET: The news of AT&T swooping is shocking and, as I see it, it’s not very good for T-Mobile customers. GigaOM: Who wins and who loses in this deal? It’s hard to find winners, apart from AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders. LA Times: Consumers might wonder if they’ve been played. “There’s no way this latest merger can be good for consumers,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League. “This places a lot of power in the hands of only a few companies.” Silicon Alley Insider: But who else wins and loses? CNET: Making 4G available to more U.S. consumers is not only good for mobile competition, but also makes mobile a viable alternative to wired service, where some consumers currently have fewer options. B&C: Fans and foes of the announced merger interrupted their weekends to weigh in. AllThingsD / Mobilized: Sprint said the purchase would “dramatically alter” the market and suggested that regulators take a hard look at the deal. paidContent: T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm acknowledged to employees that the news might be “somewhat unsettling,” but he emphasized that the deal was the “best possible solution” for the No. 4 operator, in a memo to workers sent out Sunday. AllThingsD / Mobilized: AT&T president Ralph De La Vega says the company’s $39 billion plan to buy T-Mobile may be a shocker, but it makes all the sense in the world. Mashable: This acquisition isn’t about subscriber bases — it’s about improving AT&T’s reliability and preparing it for the 4G era of wireless communication. paidContent: Jonathan Chaplin, Credit Suisse: “We have never seen a deal with more regulatory risk be attempted in the United States.” GigaOM: Several sources in Washington, D.C., were divided on the idea that the Department of Justice would approve AT&T buying T-Mobile. AllThingsD / Digital Daily: Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn: “We have to decide if we’re happy with the idea of going back to monopolistic treatment of the telecom industry. AT&T has come back to monopolistic power just like the Terminator.” CNET: Here’s a look at the two companies by some key stats, including current coverage maps for voice and 3G data. AllThingsD / Mobilized: As part of the deal, AT&T has agreed to pay T-Mobile $3 billion and promised valuable spectrum and a roaming agreement should the deal fail to garner approval. TechCrunch: We’re hearing from a source with direct knowledge of such a deal that Sprint believed it was in the driver’s seat to land T-Mobile. Silicon Alley Insider: This is a forced marriage due to Verizon finally getting the iPhone. AllThingsD / Mobilized: “We do not offer the iPhone,” T-Mobile said in a question-and-answer page for customers. “We offer cutting-edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and, coming soon, our new Sidekick 4G.” AdAge:The Publicis Groupe agency is behind the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier’s ongoing MyTouch 4G campaign that takes shots at AT&T’s iPhone service. As is common in most mergers, the carriers’ existing agencies will be watching warily.


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