AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Ever since AT&T announced that it would be acquiring T-Mobile, the company has been pretty confident that the deal would be approved by the government, despite a growing opposition. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson touched on the deal a bit more in a recent interview, explaining that he believes that the merger will improve coverage and speed up the build-out of next-gen broadband networks. In order to get the deal done, Stephenson said that he expects that ATT will need to divest some markets. Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead has said that his carrier may be interested in grabbing some of those divestitures, claims The Wall Street Journal. Finally, the AT&T exec responded to some of the deal's detractors: "This industry is anything but a duopoly," Stephenson said. "The industry is intensely competitive now, and will be intensely competitive after the deal."

We've been expecting that AT&T will have to make some concessions to get their T-Mobile acquisition approved, so it'll be interesting to see how many markets ATT ends up divesting and what happens to those markets. It wouldn't surprise me to see Verizon scoop some of them up, although it'd be nice to see Sprint grab some, too. As for Stephenson's claims that the industry will be "intensely competitive" after an AT&T-Mobile deal, I'm sure Sprint would argue that it's kind of tough to imagine an extremely competitive market in which nearly 80 percent of consumers belong to two companies. What do you all think of Stephenson's claims?

Via PhoneScoop, The Wall Street Journal

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44 Reactions to this post

"Will AT&T have to divest markets to get T-Mobile?"

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Brian Barker
Brian Barker Ok, here's how I see everything going down, first, the acquisition of T-mobile by AT&T will go smoothly, then, since AT&T-mobile(or whatever they decide to call it, personally I think they'll just stick with AT&T) and verizon will make up more than half of the cellular phone market, sprint will be forced to sell itself to Verizon, making verizon just a little bigger than AT&T. And, since Verizon's coverage is AMAZING and AT&T's coverage BLOWS( I'm not thinking it's going to improve MUCH, even after the merger) Verizon will ultimately end up buying out AT&T and America will have an ENTIRELY red coverage map, HAHA COMPLETE VERIZON TAKEOVER/DOMINATION, you never know, it could happen.
Joseph Thelmas
Joseph Thelmas The best part about all of this is I dont have to worry about my bill or services changing... Im with sprint-the now network!
Michael Almaguer
Michael Almaguer Go metropcs! Wooooo...
Manuel Ramos
Manuel Ramos So what'll happen to Wal-Mart's Family Mobile powered by T-Mobile
Auggie Mueller
Auggie Mueller It would have to happen if they want it to go through, and that means others like Verizon and sprint will try to buy up the divested markets
Robert Wernikoff
Robert Wernikoff All I know is this. AT&T sucks n the only way this deal will go thru is if they sell off parts of T-Mobile, which we all know AT&T will do in a second to get what they want. Hell I'm glad I'm on Sprint cuz at least with Sprint they r starting to get great android phones they don't cap or throttle anything. N I'm in a 4g area. So once the HTC EVO 3D comes out ill be good. N the Atrix shouldn't even be considered a dual core phone hell with motoblur its slow as hell. Lol
Joshuah Landazuri
Joshuah Landazuri KILL THE ASSASSIN!!!
Gabriel Freeman
Gabriel Freeman Sorry. Meant to say that AT&T does not allow sideloading of apps. Darn this error correction.
Gabriel Freeman
Gabriel Freeman I went to T-Mobile * from * AT&T to begin with. When/if the Deathstar takes over, they will get rid of the 1700mhz spectrum Magenta currently uses for 3G and 4G, making my Mytouch 4G only work on a 2G signal. They claim that this is far into the future, but if you're on an Even More Plus plan and youre still paying on your 4G phone, is AT&T going to give you a phone of equal value AND pay off what you owe on your current phone? Also keep in mind that because AT&T has been pushing the iPhone for so long, their Android lineup is nowhere near as good as Magenta's and they don't allow sidelong. As a T-Mobile customer and Android power user, that is a lot to think about.
Aprill Richardson
Aprill Richardson It would be like Comcast and ATT we have no choices.
Vince Buttersnaps Bolus
Vince Buttersnaps Bolus Well this sucks for me because if they are still in 2 divisions AT&T will take all the best phones and keep tmobile as its cheap provider or dare I say gophone service. If they completely merge, tmobile customers will have to pay pretty much 30 or 40 bucks more minimum a month.
Ryan Peck
Ryan Peck vzw had to give markets to at&t so in short yes
Jaime Andrade
Jaime Andrade People keep saying "the I phone is gonna come to t-mobile" its gonna be at&t, and at&t will have the I phone.. not
Antoine George
Antoine George Atat already bought t mobile
Matt Weber
Matt Weber Probably. I bet sprint will get like half the customers too.
Robert Rogers
Robert Rogers I myself had been with T-Mobile for several years and been a very loyal customer but when they announced this buy out I felt betrayed and left hanging in the water to drown so I jumped ship and I am happy I did .... sorry T-Mobile bout your dayuumm luck...
Manda Vue
Manda Vue Im currently witg tmobile and in the past have been with att and print. forsure i love tmobile... they r the best and has the best customer service. idk what else to do if att gets jointed. this will really upset me. i dont think it would be a good idea. tmobile is awesome !!!!!
Jürgen M Lobert
Jürgen M Lobert Im still hoping that the feds do what is right: prevent quasi monopolies! Next step is to gobble up Sprint and then what, merge Vzn and Att into the old Ma-bell? Come on, this is so ridiculously clear what to do...
Steve Park
Steve Park I kind of like the idea of Verizon buying the discards from T-Mobile. Where I live, AT&T and T-Mobile have the best signals. Sprint can barely get a single bar, and PoDunkTel and BBQ has no roaming agreements with anyone, but they are CHEAP. Verizon is not available around Ft. Knox and this would give them a way in. They have a good 3G signal here, just can't sign up with them in this zip code.
Mark Gittens
Mark Gittens If u look at the consumer reports u can clearly see that att ranks last in just about every category. They r just awful there plans r terrible and other than tha atrix that just came out they only have that piece of crap iphone att= FAIL!
Terrance Murphy
Terrance Murphy this maybe a noob question but whats gunna happen to tmobile customers that stay wit tmobile after the merger? like will our phones work with at&t or will they be useless?
James Oliver
James Oliver Yup like brian said, This is in TMobiles best interest that this deal goes through. Suck it up people and get ready
Brian M McCoy
Brian M McCoy At this point, it's in T-Mobile's best interest that the deal goes through. If the deal does not go through, the damage will have already been done. T-Mobile most likely lose customers because of the proposed merger. Either way, it's a lose lose for AT&T and T-Mobile. To all that say that AT&T will have a more diverse selection of phones! Seeing as someone the phones are already duplicates, some will go away. Others will be adopted into AT&T's arsenal of phone selection. The question is, will Google partner with AT&T or go somewhere else? Sprint has already picked up the Nexus S, so that exclusive deal with T-Mobile is gone. Another is the MyTouch. Will that go to AT&T, or will that go to another company?
Donald Dew
Donald Dew Sprint ain't having it!
John Resch
John Resch Of course they will. There are several markets where T-mobile and ATT are the only two carriers. They would have to divest as Verizon did..
Lennes Shaw
Lennes Shaw If it dont go through tmo gets $3bill plus spectrum att isnt using, sound like tmo will be getting ready to launch lte if deal dont close.
Brian Ace Brooks
Brian Ace Brooks Im jumping ship I was with t mobile because of my hate for att,I wish t mobile tried to work out there problems instead of selling out
Ralphie Molina
Ralphie Molina Well said Brian
Brian M McCoy
Brian M McCoy Ummmm, was only announced that AT&T and T-Mobile have agreed to this deal. If it in fact goes through and the Feds say yes(which a lot people do not), it would be done by Spring 2012. If AT&T has to divest, the same thing situation would most likely happen when Verizon bought Alltel. They would have to pay T-Mobile's bills until the rest of the company is purchased as they would not be able to continue operating with what is left. I honestly don't see this happening though. If it does goes through I'm sure people will start jumping ship if they haven't done it already.
Ralphie Molina
Ralphie Molina ATT already said T-Mobile isn't getting the Iphone. The "merger" sucks because fewer cell companies means paying more for services
Brian Edwards
Brian Edwards Obviously. Would surprise me if they didn't.
Diego Vazquez
Diego Vazquez No this deal should not even be approved because #1 this will cause Sprint to go down under and have to sell too. #2 T-Mobile is just having a bad time if they listened more to their subscribers then they wouldn't be where they are today. Lesson is always listen to your customers and never go against them because there will be many who will want to leave to go somewhere else.
Jarrad Floyd
Jarrad Floyd Faaaaawk AT&T, can't somebody veto this...
Christian Crow
Christian Crow I am so looking forward to this, next march or April is when it goes into effect
Eric Mitchell
Eric Mitchell Yes because AT&T is willing to do anything to get the deal approved
James Oliver
James Oliver Hopefully it gets approved. Welcome to the ATT family Tmobile. Since Tmobile was eventually gonna die anyways.
Jesus Ramos
Jesus Ramos Wll atleast maybe t mobile will get iphones
Jarrad Floyd
Jarrad Floyd Not if Google closes first... I Luke the sound of G-mobile...
Kevin Pizana
Kevin Pizana Agreed with aaron....
Kevin Gray
Kevin Gray Uh... yeah
Michael Major
Michael Major Ummmm...hell yeah..if it gets approved.
Rodolfo Perez
Rodolfo Perez I know its not for this but I live in Mexico and i own an IPhone 4 and FaceTime is a freakin nightmare telcel sucks!! I have 17 mins standing on the uni line and 30 more to go Please Shoot me!!
Kenneth Torres
Kenneth Torres I thought At&t bought t-mobile for $38 billion?
Aaron Couts
Aaron Couts Verizon did when they bought alltel, so I don't see at&t being treated different. Still hate at&t with the passion, t-mobile customers are getting screwed yet again.

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