AT&T Files T-Mobile Merger Documentation with the FCC

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It’s begun, whoop-dee-doo. Yesterday, AT&T submitted its paperwork to the FCC for approval. That merger, you know the one that conglomerates AT&T and T-Mobile as a giant telecom monopoly, has finally kicked off.

The uber-long behemoth of a document, at 381 pages long, documents AT&T’s case for acquiring T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. While the process could take as long as a year, the document argues that it promotes competitiveness and will further enhance cellphone reception for users across the board bla bla bla all stuff I’ve heard before.

In fact, AT&T openly admits in the document that it “faces network spectrum and capacity constraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider, and this merger provides by far the surest, fastest, and most efficient solution to that challenge.” The resulting merger would take the load off of AT&T, so to speak, and blanket 97 percent of Americans with LTE coverage.

The whole gist is pretty straightforward. While the merger with T-Mobile won’t create any more spectrum, by assuming themselves with T-Mobile assets, many more people are going to have better reception in traditionally shoddy areas (cough, San Francisco) by relieving the load off of their current network.

This Is My Next also points out an interesting tidbit from the documentation:

The craziest bits in the entire filing may be AT&T’s repeated putdowns of T-Mobile, saying that the carrier’s “absence from the marketplace will not have a significant competitive impact, particularly vis-à-vis AT&T.” Burn! The company says that it’s too busy worrying about Verizon, Sprint, and “rapidly growing mavericks like MetroPCS and Leap and other providers,” which have already started to “replace the diminished market role T-Mobile plays today.”

So let me get this straight. You’re trying to put down the company that you claim you so desperately need? Time to put my thinking cap on, cause I don’t understand.

It’s still not clear whether the FCC will let AT&T proceed with the acquisition, but its clear that the merger will only hinder the current market and consumers by cutting out of one of the largest four telecom providers. It could be a long time before consumers see any direct effects of the merger, such as increased reception. Hopefully by then, there won’t be a whole couple of new excuses why my iPhone’s reception is just about the same if I drop it in the toilet.

(via This Is My Next)

More on TIME.com:

AT&T Defends T-Mobile Merger: It’s a Good Thing, Really!

Sprint Is Officially Not Happy with the AT&T Acquisition

FCC Calls AT&T and T-Mobile Merger ‘Steep Climb’

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