Not as merged as they’d like you to think

I’ve had a few conversations with colleagues and friends about the proposed T-Mobile / AT&T merger that I found a little troubling.  Troubling because they all have expressed dismay at the merger, and because they all think the merger has already happened.  The latter is untrue.

So keen is AT&T to let the world know that it’s all over now, nothing to see, please move along that they’ve placed a slew of ads with vague language about merging with T-Mobile.  At least in my anecdotal experience, the ads are so successful that I made a point to ask as many in my circle about what they thought of the proposed merger.  Thus far, other than my business partner, not a one knew that the merger had not yet been approved.  In fact, AT&T has been hit with several lawsuits from it’s own customers intended to block the process.  In it’s infinite wisdom AT&T has sued it’s customers back.

As I continued to read about this lawsuit, I came across an article from DSLReports about a devastating accidental leak of an internal letter by a law firm working for AT&T on the merger undermines one of AT&T’s lynch-pin claims to the FCC; “that they need T-Mobile to increase LTE network coverage from 80% to 97% of the population.”  From the same article, “[f]or the first time the letter pegs the cost of bringing AT&T’s LTE coverage from 80% to 97% at $3.8 billion — quite a cost difference from the $39 billion price tag on the T-Mobile deal.”

So, not only is it not a done deal, the merger is looking shakier by the day.  There’s even been some speculation that Google might swoop in and buy up T-Mobile if/when the AT&T deal goes south.

I should state for the record that I’m not a big fan of AT&T.  Having been a previous customer of their land-lines, cell-phones, and DSL internet services, I can safely say that I have never dealt with a more lazy company in all my life.  I regularly knew more about the problem I was calling tech support about, and while there are occasionally a few of their team members (particularly in AT&T retail locations) who will make an effort, I have only a small handful of customer support stories in my time as a tech worse than with AT&T.

As a current T-Mobile customer, I look on with no small amount of dread at the possibility of their acquisition.

That all said, the purpose of this is to let you know the deal is NOT done.  The FCC is VERY responsive to input, regardless of which side of this debate you fall on.  If you feel strongly one way or another, you may file a comment on the case here.

UPDATE:

It looks like Color of Change is running a petition here for those who are against the merger.  If you see any other petitions, regardless of where you come down on the issue, please send ’em to me!

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