FCC Does its Job, Riles AT&T by Releasing Report Exposing Lies About T-Mobile Merger

AT&T and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom withdrew their application to the FCC to transfer the mobile licenses after the agency announced on Nov. 22 that staff there had found the US$39 billion acquisition to be contrary to the public interest. The FCC on Tuesday granted the request to withdraw the license transfer application, but released the 157-page staff report on the merger despite opposition from AT&T.

AT&T and T-Mobile “have failed to meet their burden of demonstrating that the competitive harms that would result from the proposed transaction are outweighed by the claimed benefits,” the staff report said. “The potential loss [of T-Mobile as a] competitive force in the market is a cause for serious concern.”

via FCC Riles AT&T by Releasing Report on T-Mobile Merger | PCWorld Business Center.

The FCC disputed AT&T’s claim that less competition would lead to more “jobs” and “lower rates”.  Both of these were flat out lies, as anybody with the barest sense of how mature markets operate would attest.

Expect AT&T’s politicians to come out against the FCC, hardcore, in 3, 2, 1….

AT&T is taking exception that anyone would question their flat out lies, and further exception they don’t get to spin this report, and even further exception that actual citizens of this country can now read it.

AT&T called the release of the report “troubling.” The report is an internal document meant to raise questions before a hearing before an administrative law judge, the company said. The next step for the FCC would have been an administrative hearing if AT&T had continued to pursue the license transfer application.

“This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on,” Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, said in a statement. “The draft report has also not been made available to AT&T prior to today, so we have had no opportunity to address or rebut its claims, which makes its release all the more improper.”

 

 

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CBS See’s Net as Useful

CNets Allure for CBS: Both Are Laggards – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog

So CNet is finally being bought.

In January, I wrote a post called “The Problem With CNet: No One Wants to Buy It.” Every Internet and media company has looked closely at CNet. They are intrigued because it is a leader in its category of tech news and reviews, with some good technology and brands. But it is growing slowly, and its cost base is so high that its profit margins are meager. And the asking price, which hovered between $1 billion and $2 billion, scared off all the potential buyers.

So what is different for CBS, which announced today that it will pay $1.8 billion for CNet?

For one, CBS is also a company with well-known brands and sluggish growth. So CNet adds some luster to CBS, even if it would drag down other theoretical buyers like Yahoo.

Interestingly, on a conference call with investors this morning, CBS said that its own Internet properties — like Sportsline and the Web site for the Grammy Awards — are actually growing faster than CNet is.

Pretty good analysis of the brands and deal there.  Bascially CBS is paying an absolute crapload for some good domain names.  C-Net has been a solid ‘net brand for a long time, but never really jumped into the huge category.  I have serious doubts that CBS will do amazing things with the properties, but have tv.com and news.com in your stable of properties should be beneficial for an old-scheel TV business with a long term news brand.