AT&T gives up on T-Mobile acquisition, ends an uphill battle
AT&T ended its bid for T-Mobile today after facing much scrutiny and government resistance
AT&T has finally ended its pursuit of T-Mobile. AT&T announced in March its deal with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion, and the following months have been filled with nothing but opposition from the government, other carriers and AT&T and T-Mobile customers.
The second largest carrier announced today that it has withdrawn its bid to "add network capacity" by purchasing T-Mobile USA. AT&T came to an agreement with Deutsche Telekom regarding the matter, but AT&T still plans on remaining aggressive with mobile Internet.
The two carriers have always said that if the merger didn't go through, they would explore other areas of partnership, not excluding the possibility of some kind of joint venture. However, the key takeaway from AT&T's announcement is the following (emphasis my own):
"However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs."
For once, I'm in agreement with AT&T. Eventually, carriers may succumb to the nation's spectrum demands, and that needs to be addressed. Creating a monopoly in that sector, however, is not the answer.
This news comes as a huge relief to those who may have been negatively impacted by the acquisition (i.e. employees facing termination, customers, etc.), but it will be interesting to see what T-Mobile decides to do next.