- AT&T, Inc., Deutsche Telekom AG, and its T-Mobile USA, Inc., filed a brief in support of AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile on June 10, 2011. The brief argues that the deal is necessary to alleviate spectrum constraints and that opponents of the merger “would simply prefer to compete against a capacity-constrained AT&T and a standalone T-Mobile USA without financial backing from its parent and no clear path to LTE.” The companies urge the FCC and Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider the wireless market on a local level, rather than nationally, and to deny requests for conditions on resale, handsets, pricing, universal service funding, and early termination fees. Nokia, Inc., also filed comments supporting the proposed merger. In its comments, Nokia said it disagreed with merger opponents that contend the deal would give AT&T a virtual lock on devices in the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) market. 18 governors, as well as labor unions, minority and disability rights groups, rural organizations, and equipment and handset makers, were among those cited as supporting the merger. WT Docket No. 11-65.
AT&T and T-Mobile have also submitted responses to specific questions posed by the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and state that they have submitted about 1.2 million documents to DOJ.
- Supporters of the FCC’s recently adopted data roaming rules have intervened in support of the FCC in Verizon’s appeal of those rules in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Verizon appeals on on a variety of grounds, including that the order “is in excess of the Commission’s statutory authority.” Among those that filed to intervene are Cincinnati Bell Wireless LLC, MetroPCS Communications, Inc., the Rural Cellular Association, Leap Wireless International, Inc., and Cricket Communications, Inc., the Rural Telecommunications Group, T-Mobile USA, Inc., and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association. Cellco Partnership v. FCC, Case Nos. 11-1135, et al. (D.C. Cir., filed May 25, 2011).