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If it were mine to decide ...

Displaying poll results.
I would prohibit the ATT/T-Mobile merger
  11937 votes / 48%
I would limit or modify the ATT/T-Mobile merger
  940 votes / 3%
I would encourage the ATT/T-Mobile merger
  1540 votes / 6%
I'm ambivalent, but would let the market decide
  3232 votes / 13%
A pox on both their houses!
  6713 votes / 27%
24362 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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If it were mine to decide ...

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If someone on /. has the knowledge to enlighten the masses on the pros/cons of a merger/aquisition, please do!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. What merger? Is this some kind of US thing? I have no idea WTF this poll is for, nor how it affects me on the other side of the globe if it indeed is a US thing.

      • by webheaded (997188)
        Why do people do this? If you come to Slashdot, you must have seen articles about this by now. Yes, we get it...you aren't in the US, but really what is the point of making these comments? This has been all over the internet and whether or not you live here, you've seen it unless you live under a rock and only check Slashdot like once a week (apparently just to make witty comments on the polls).
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday September 23, 2011 @04:18PM (#37495856) Journal

        Ak, a foreigner! Don't you have some heads to shrink or some cannibalistic ritual to take part in. And who taught you how to read? How can we exploit your resources and leave you all living in the Third World version of a trailer park if you can actually read. I'm sending this on to the Privy Office so they can come, lop out your tongue and chop off your hands, you filthy savage.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by squiggleslash (241428)

        What merger indeed. There isn't a proposed merger. It's a proposed take-over of assets and customers. A buy-out. The end result is not AT&T + T-Mobile, it's AT&T with T-Mobile's old customers, some of their old staff, plus a shitload more spectrum and towers.

        Beyond the usual cries of "The government must never interfere because it's always worse than the market!", I don't see any sane reason to support this. A bad company buying a good one. Great. Yay for free markets or some such. Bastards.

    • by flaming error (1041742) on Friday September 23, 2011 @12:37AM (#37488042) Journal

      The pros are that this is a value-added proposition which will strengthen the position of stakeholders with a synergistic marriage of complementary solutions.

      The cons are less competition, higher prices, poorer service, and a general trickle-down effect that smells like salty ammonia and colors snow yellow.

      • The pros are that this is a value-added proposition which will strengthen the position of stakeholders with a synergistic marriage of complementary solutions.

        Excellent! You win today's buzzword bingo.

    • by V!NCENT (1105021)

      This merger will be a disgrace for capitalism.

      We should get better shit when more players compete.

      The cold hard reality is that they poo on customers and by merging even the illusion of competition disappears.

      This is not about a 'free market', but about putting the effects of real capitalism into effect by blocking this shit.

  • by CuriousGeorge113 (47122) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @11:27AM (#37480492) Homepage

    Ok, lets say the Fed's block the merger. What happens next? T-Mob continues to bleed itself to death? Their parent co has already said they are unwilling to make the capital investments necessary for T-Mob to compete against Sprint, ATT and Verizon. If the Feds block the merger, are they going to force T-Mob to stay in business?

    I'm not excited about the wireless market looking like the residential broadband market right now (a duopoly or monopoly in some markets). But, there is not guarantees to T-Mob's continued success, and this merger has seemed only to accelerate their subscribers running out the door.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by toxonix (1793960)
      I've been a T-Mobile customer since waaaay back when they were VoiceStream, somewhere around 1998 I think. I've been an ATT customer a few times. The thing that stinks about this merger is that T-Mobile has good support and systems, ATT has awful support and awful systems. This is due to ATT's extremely complex integration and sourcing of their customer service systems. ATT is not very customer friendly, mostly due to the bad and complex integration of their setup, service, support and billing systems. I'm
      • T-Mobile also offers the unlimited data, talk, and text for a pretty reasonable price (if you have two lines, they are only $49 each) (throttled, but it's mobile... who cares).

        The main thing I would hate about this is AT&T swallowing TMO and ruining the best pricing available on the market, that I have seen.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          The smart money is on AT&T acquiring T-Mobile to ruin those plans. Given how poor its service and price has been in recent years, that's the only conclusion I can come to. There's not much point in having 3G service with AT&T as most of the time you're dealing with at most EDGE anyways.

        • by evilviper (135110)

          T-Mobile also offers the unlimited data, talk, and text for a pretty reasonable price (if you have two lines, they are only $49 each) (throttled, but it's mobile... who cares).

          Meanwhile, Boost Mobile (Sprint) gives you unlimited everything for $50/month, and it drops $5 every 6 months until you bottom out at $35/month.

          Virgin Mobile (also Sprint) gives you unlimited everything for $55/month. But personally, I prefer their $35/month plan, which only gives you 300 minutes of talk, but everything else is unlim

          • Not 100% sure, but I think the catch with Virgin is slow data. I could swear I read somewhere that they're 1xRTT-only (in English: ~153kbps nominal speed, ~50-80kbps real-world speed, compared to 300-600kbps real-world speeds seen by Sprint customers using EVDO).

            • by afidel (530433)
              Nope, Virgin is EVDO, though I've never seen RevA speeds on my wife's phone. We bought in when it was $25/month for 300/unlimited and it was by far the best deal in wireless (she was spending roughly the same with T-Mobile for voice only on their pay as you go program, she now gets a LOT more value for the same price).
        • by sgt scrub (869860)

          $80/mo with reduced speeds after 10G is what I see. Is that what you are talking about?

    • by Dragon Bait (997809) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @01:36PM (#37482176)

      Ok, lets say the Fed's block the merger. What happens next? T-Mob continues to bleed itself to death?

      From What ATT Owes T-Mobile if Deal Doesn’t Go Through [allthingsd.com]:

      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.

      If the deal doesn't go through, T-Mobile wins ($3B payday). If the deal does go through, T-Mobile share-holders win (big payday).

      • by TWX (665546)

        I just hope that there's a fairly speedy (as in three to five years, not a decade) resolution to the court battle that will undoubtedly ensure if the federal government successfully blocks the merger, and that it comes out in t-mobile's favor. They have had excellent rates for unlimited service, and if everyone remembers, back when ISPs used to offer only so many minutes per month for internet usage it was an awakening when they all switched to unlimited.

        Since the FCC is planning on auctioning very desirab

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        T-Mobile should just take that money and put it all towards an iPhone exclusive contract. That's the main reason they are losing their lunch to AT&T right now.

        Of course, now that Apple is in such a dominant smartphone position, they'd be stupid to take exclusivity at any price. Release a duel GSM/CDMA phone that works on any network and they could double their US market share in a couple years...

      • Right, T-Mob get a $3B payday, but there is no certainty (or indication) that they are going to invest that back into their network.

        They are probably going to take the money and run all the way back to Germany.....
         

    • Ok, lets say the Fed's block the merger. What happens next? T-Mob continues to bleed itself to death? Their parent co has already said they are unwilling to make the capital investments necessary for T-Mob to compete against Sprint, ATT and Verizon. If the Feds block the merger, are they going to force T-Mob to stay in business?

      If the feds block the merger, AT&T has agreed to provide favorable roving terms, spectrum and money. That is, the bridge so the capital investment is less dire, the primary good

    • by geekoid (135745)

      T-Mobile gets an iPhone?
      T-Mobile goes out of business which allows their customer to leave their contract?
      T-Mobile Continues as it?

      Whatever. AT&T means no options, higher costs, and worse service.

    • If the deal gets blocked, they still come out a few billion a head in in free spectrum and money that AT&T put up to demonstrate the seriousness of their bid. So, in the short term, it all works out pretty well for T-Mobile. In the long run, however, they probably end up making nice with sprint so that instead of 2 MASSIVE providers and 1 little one, we end up with 3 "pretty big" providers. That's still a slight improvement. Alternately, someone else might wish to buy them and continue operating th

    • by afidel (530433)
      T-Mobile isn't bleeding to death, they've made at least $1B in profit in each of the last 5 years.
      • AOL continued to make profit, even as its customers fled in droves to faster, broadband connections. My reference to 'bleeding itself to death' refers to their continued subscriber losses, especially in the profitable post-paid contract market.

    • They can go under. The biggest problem with cell phone mergers is that once the merger takes place its forever, no new national level competitor can enter the market without an existing provider selling them bandwidth (which would pretty much be a lose/lose for said provider). If T mobile goes under and its spectrum is given to a new competitor it prevents us from falling all the way to three national providers forever.

    • by SEE (7681)

      Ok, lets say the Fed's block the merger. What happens next?

      Somebody else buys T-Mobile. CenturyLink, a consortium of US cable companies, a private capital investment firm, a different foreign telecom (say, América MÃvil) . . . there are lots and lots of people who aren't AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint Nextel out there.

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      What happens next?

      T-Mobil reduces prices and sell accounts with higher caps than the competition. Capitalism is: "Give customers what they want to stay in business", not, "Keep the cartel alive or sell out to another member of the cartel". If T-Mobil offered an unlimited data plan while all of the others are capping the shit out of their customers they will bounce back.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's a reason that Ma Bell was cut into pieces. 1 company with too much power is not good. Maybe we need to remember that when looking at other companies, too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    keep them seperate, I like the t-mobile chick

  • Prohibit a direct acquisition, and encourage T-Mobile to auction its assets (spectrum, patents, etc) to the highest bidder. Selling off small chunks at least makes it possible for the other two, and possibly some smaller carriers (lol) to partake.
  • After years of regulatory failure in the US and Canada when it comes to mobile phone standards you have a situation where phones are almost irreversibly bound to the network. CDMA is a horrible almost proprietary system without SIM cards that lends itself well to invasive branding practices on handsets, charging different rates for 'mobile' data usage and 'tethered' data usage.

    With any GSM network I have ever used I simply buy an unlocked phone (not expensive, in brick & mortar shops they are sold a
  • Depends (Score:4, Funny)

    by residieu (577863) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:23PM (#37481268)

    If it were up to me, I'd accept bribes from ATT, T-Mobile and any of their competitors. Whichever question gave the biggest total bribe (for or against), would tell me whether to allow it.

    I would then inform them that I don't in fact have the power to make that decision and tell them to go bribe someone else, as I run off with the money.

    • by 9re9 (803270)
      Spoken like a true member of Congress. Except you confuse "bribe" with "campaign contribution."
    • bloody hell, now that's some good thinking!
    • by JSBiff (87824)

      "Whichever question gave the biggest total bribe (for or against), would tell me whether to allow it." Wait, you're only gonna take money from the highest bidder? You're supposed take the money from all of them, give them vague promises, and half-hearted attempts/speeches (to make it look like you're actually working for the money) for 3 or 4 election cycles, gathering bribes from them the whole time, then when you see they are finally losing patience, go with the highest bidder.

      Never butcher the cow till i

  • Read my Sig (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:38PM (#37481452)
    Read my Sig.
    --
    I oppose the AT&T/T-Mobile merger because I don't want to lose the hot T-Mobile girl ads.



    .
  • I've been reading stories and comments about this acquisition since it was announced and across the board about 9/10 people are against it. The reasons vary, but among T-Mobile customers (and I am one) the attitude is pretty much, "anybody but AT&T!". AT&T is astoundingly customer-hostile. They always seem to be the first to raise rates and curtail services. When the other telcos see them get away with it they follow suit. While AT&T was counting their iPhone money Verizon built an LTE network.

  • 120 people so far voted for "I would encourage the ATT/T-Mobile merger", which is fine, whatever one thinks.

    But 222 people have voted for the "let the market decide" option. This is nonsense, however one thinks. What has the market had to do with Verizon, or AT&T, or Sprint? For one thing, the local loop is de facto, and in many cases de jure, completely divided up in the country between Verizon and AT&T (and Qwest too, although all Qwest states are west of the Mississippi, minus large states lik

  • Had Cingular, and all was well. AT&T took over Cingular, and all was not well. So disgusted with the customer service we got with AT&T we moved over to T-Mobile.
    I wept when the merger was first announced.
    • You've got that backwards. Cingular took over AT&T Wireless (and only Wireless). Years later, Cingular's parent company SBC bought the remnants of AT&T and renamed themselves as AT&T.

      Detailed version:
      Cingular was a joint venture between Cellular One (McCaw Communication) and SBC, the mega-baby-bell that started as just one of the 6 or 7 after the AT&T breakup of the 1980s. Cingular became the brand name for the wireless service of SBC, and eventually SBC owned it all.

      AT&T Wireless was a

  • 1. What does "I'm ambivalent, but would let the market decide" mean? The decision making players are AT&T and T-mobile management, and the federal government. "The market" has essentially nothing to say about it and no way to really even weigh in on the matter. Anyone who thinks that "the market" can or will put a stop to a bad merger - two words: HP Compaq.

    2. "A pox on both their houses". What the hell? Which are the two houses you want to put a pox on? AT&T and T-Mo? AT&Tmo and the USG? AT

    • by adoll (184191)

      2. "A pox on both their houses". What the hell? Which are the two houses you want to put a pox on? AT&T and T-Mo? AT&Tmo and the USG? AT&Tmo and Verizon/Sprint?

      Yes.

  • As long as they keep putting that cute girl in the taffeta dress on my computer, I don't care!
    • by rrhal (88665)
      I'm pretty sure she's history as soon as AT&T have their way with her.
  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @06:48PM (#37485714)

    As a regular VISITOR to the US, I would oppose anything that reduces your already meagre choice of 2 major GSM networks, to 1. (A visitor from almost any other country is going to be carrying a GSM phone, making Sprint and Verizon non-options from the start)

    At the moment, a visiting tourist's two options are:

    a) AT&T, who prefer to sell you a crappy GoPhone handset rather than just a SIM. Oh and if you find an AT&T store that actually understands what you're trying to do, and you insist on just a SIM, make sure you don't tell them it's for an iPhone, because they won't let you activate a normal (i.e. non AT&T locked down) iPhone on their network. Just tell them it's for some old Nokia or something, activate the SIM using said old Nokia (and it's associated non-iPhone IMEI), then transfer the SIM to your iPhone. And BTW that doesn't include any data by default and you have to call some number to add a data pack taken from your existing credit blah blah.

    b) T-Mobile is a lot friendlier to tourists wanting some prepaid voice + data and are happy to sell you a SIM without caring what kind of phone you put it in. Hooray! BUT ... unfortunately they use some wacky HSDPA frequency/band that nowhere else in the world does (and thus your phone is almost guaranteed not to support it). Result is, you'll get your voice service, but your data will only be at GPRS or EDGE speeds. Better than nothing though and it's still worth it for not having to jump through the hoops that AT&T make you do.

    I have no idea what a merger between the two companies would look like from a visitor's perspective but I can't imagine it would be good. Probably more like the current AT&T than the current T-Mobile. Either way, why does it have to be so much more complicated (and expensive) than in every other country where you can literally pick a SIM up for $2 bucks in the arrivals hall at the airport and have it instantly activated? You can't seem to do this in the US since the carriers don't seem to have shops in most airports like carriers do everywhere else.

    From 'our' perspective, the mobile phone market in the US is bizarre. It's overpriced and relies on coupling particular phones to particular networks. You overhear comments from Americans along the lines of "I want a *phone X* but it's only available on *network Y*" - a concept foreign to most of the rest of the world. I also understand that even if you DO buy an unlocked phone outright in the US, and you go to your carrier to get a plan for it, you still have to go on a contract, and you still have to pay handset repayments as part of the cost of the plan anyway (!?!) (i.e. the plan cost doesn't change if you bring your own handset). It would make me rage uncontrollably if I lived there full time ;)

    • by slinches (1540051)

      From 'our' perspective, the mobile phone market in the US is bizarre. It's overpriced and relies on coupling particular phones to particular networks. You overhear comments from Americans along the lines of "I want a *phone X* but it's only available on *network Y*" - a concept foreign to most of the rest of the world. I also understand that even if you DO buy an unlocked phone outright in the US, and you go to your carrier to get a plan for it, you still have to go on a contract, and you still have to pay handset repayments as part of the cost of the plan anyway (!?!) (i.e. the plan cost doesn't change if you bring your own handset). It would make me rage uncontrollably if I lived there full time ;)

      That's one more reason to block the deal. T-Mobile does have non-contract rate plans that are lower without the phone subsidy. I think they called them "Even More Plus" plans last time I checked, but it may have changed since then.

      • by slinches (1540051)

        Replying to my own post, but they did change the plan name. There's a no contract section with both prepaid and monthly plans. Right now the Unlimited talk+text+web(5GB before throttling) is $70 vs. $90 for the same plan under contract.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by generalhavok (1432165)
      From the perspective of an American, I'm always amazed when I go to other countries, carrying my unlocked phone. When I arrive, I'm greeted in the airport by a number of various phone companies, who are all more than happy to sell my a SIM card. For my first overseas trip, I learned about the number of options for using mobile phones, and I was so amazed that all the carriers seemed to use similar standards and frequencies. Before this, I had the typical American attitude that every phone had to be used wit
      • I forgot where I read it, but I vaguely remember hearing that Verizon and AT&T are likely to somehow use incompatible forms of LTE. It might be related to the operating frequency. If that's the case, then we're stuck with the same "locked into a single carrier" issue you're describing.

        The whole thing, as you've aptly described, is ridiculous. When I was in high school, our entire marching band traveled to London to march in a parade. All of the chaperones were shocked to learn that their cell phones

    • why does it have to be so much more complicated (and expensive) than in every other country where you can literally pick a SIM up for $2 bucks in the arrivals hall at the airport and have it instantly activated? You can't seem to do this in the US since the carriers don't seem to have shops in most airports like carriers do everywhere else.

      1. Because they don't give a shit to make it simpler. The rate of international travel flux in the US is simply much lower than in Europe. While I agree it sucks bot

    • While I generally agree with your post, and would prefer to have unlocked phones that could be moved from network to network, one thing I will say in defense of American cell phone companies is this: no other country has had four companies cover such a vast geographical area with such a dispersed population. It's easy in these small, densely populated European or Asian countries to have lots of competition in the cell phone market. You want to become a competitor? Just set up a few hundred to a couple thous

      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        My comparison is largely with Australia though, which is the same size as the lower 48 US states with a similarly dispersed population. And it has three nationwide GSM networks (access to which is wholesaled to other companies meaning we end up with something like 5 or 6 major nationwide carriers). And that's all to serve a population smaller than some individual US cities. So it can be done.

        Agree with your comparisons with Europe though, it IS obviously a lot easier in that kind of area.

  • by BCW2 (168187) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @07:13PM (#37485954) Journal
    There is a reason AT&T was broken up the first time. It was a monopoly and bad for the customers. Nothing has changed and it should be stopped from buying any other companies, ever! They have lied about prices and service for at least 40 years.
    • by The Man (684)

      Me too. And after, crossing fingers, the deal goes through, I will be voting against all of its directors at the next shareholders' meeting. Why in God's name would anyone agree to pay $3 BILLION as a breakup fee even if the breakup occurs for reasons outside the buyer's control?! Everyone knows that US regulators have become completely arbitrary and capricious as the rule of law has disintegrated. To put $3 billion of your shareholders' money on the line betting that they would "allow" the deal (as if

      • .....Why in God's name would anyone agree to pay $3 BILLION as a breakup fee even if the breakup occurs for reasons outside the buyer's control?! Everyone knows that US regulators have become completely arbitrary and capricious as the rule of law has disintegrated.....

        So they have another excuse not to invest in their network...

        "Well, we would have invested in more backhaul capacity, but our $3BN payment to T-Mobile caused us to have to defer those investments."

  • Take the AT&T and T-Mobile bandwidth resources and place them into a holding company that operates the system and wholesales bandwidth back to the retail operators (AT&T/T-Mobile) under standardized contract terms. Terms that another reseller can sign up for and give consumers even more choice.

  • And those skimpy tight skirts.

  • I wouldn't only prohibit the merger, I'd break up AT&T and Verizon into at least three different companies each. Seems like something that needs to be done every couple of decades. They'll glom back together again, and then we should break them up again. The markets need a reset every once in a while to work properly.

  • No matter what, it's still the phone company... [youtube.com]
  • AT&T leads the way in throttling bandwidth, the other companies follow, now AT&T are buying people out. Shouldn't it go the other way?!? People should be abandoning AT&T's ship to companies that don't throttle. WTF went wrong?

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

 



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