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AT&T Files Application at FCC for Proposed T-Mobile Acquisition - Broadcasting & Cable

AT&T Files Application at FCC for Proposed T-Mobile Acquisition

Says deal would help address spectrum exhaust
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AT&T Thursday filed an application at the FCC for its proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom. It has already filed for antitrust review with the Justice Department.

AT&T told the FCC the deal would "quickly provide the spectrum and network efficiencies necessary for AT&T to address impending spectrum exhaust in key markets driven by the exponential growth in mobile broadband traffic on its network."

That is talking the FCC's language, since FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is pushing for legislation to compensate broadcasters for exiting spectrum to deal with what he has called a spectrum crunch that could get worse.

AT&T, in its public interest filing at the FCC, said that not only will it help relieve the crunch, but that it is "the most pro-consumer solution to the critical capacity challenges facing these two companies," and will help it get within less than a percentage point (more than 97%) of the president's 98% goal.

AT&T also said the deal would stimulate the creation of thousands of jobs, improve public safety, and still face plenty of competition from Sprint, MetroPCS and Leap (Cricket), U.S. Cellular, Cox, Clearwire (a consortium of Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Intel, Google, and Bright House), and others.

President Barack Obama has also made mobile wireless a priority, backing the spectrum auction legislation that would pay broadcasters and saying in the State of the Union he wants to get 4G wireless service to 98% of the country in five years.

"The bottom line is that our merger with T-Mobile USA will offer significant benefits to American consumers.  It will address capacity constraints that both of our companies face, which will enable the combined company to provide improved services in the many urban, suburban, and rural markets where the enormous surge in broadband usage is fast consuming available capacity," said AT&T.

"No matter how many high-priced lobbying firms AT&T hires, it won't be able to fool Americans into thinking the reconstitution of the Ma Bell monopoly is a good thing. Make no mistake, this deal is about eliminating a competitor and nothing more." said Free Press in a statement. "AT&T has chosen the marketing slogan ‘Mobilize Everything' to sell this competition-killing deal, but it's clear their real goal is to ‘Monopolize Everything.'"

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