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11-65 05-31-2011 Sprint Nextel Corporation (2 of 2) 7021675883

11-65 05-31-2011 Sprint Nextel Corporation (2 of 2) 7021675883

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Published by Sam Gustin

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Published by: Sam Gustin on May 31, 2011
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03/27/2013

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REDACTED –FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION
Before theFEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONWashington, DC 20554
In the Matter of))Applications of AT&T Inc. and)WT Docket No. 11-65Deutsche Telekom AG)DA 11-799)ULS File No. 0004669383For Consent to Assign or Transfer)Control of Licenses and Authorizations )
PETITIONTODENY
S
PRINT
N
EXTEL
C
ORPORATION
Vonya B. McCann 
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Lawrence R. Krevor 
Vice President, Government Affairs, Spectrum
Charles W. McKee 
Vice President, Government Affairs, Federal & State Regulatory
J. Breck Blalock  
 Director, Government Affairs
Trey Hanbury 
 Director, Government Affairs
900 7th Street, NW Suite 700Washington, D.C. 20001(703) 433-3786
C
OUNSEL TO
S
PRINT
N
EXTEL
C
ORPORATION
Regina M. KeeneyA. Richard Metzger, Jr.Charles W. LoganStephen J. BermanEmily J.H. DanielsLawler, Metzger, Keeney & Logan, LLC2001 K Street, NW Suite 802Washington, D.C. 20006Antoinette Cook BushMatthew P. HendricksonDavid H. Pawlik John R. SewardSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP1440 New York Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20005May 31, 2011
 
REDACTED –FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION
i
S
UMMARY
The Commission faces a stark choice in this proceeding. It can reject AT&T’s bid to takeover T-Mobileand extend the last two decades of robust competition in the wireless industry – competition that has promoted economic growth and advancedU.S. global leadership in mobilecommunications. Or the Commissioncan approve the takeover and let the wireless industryregress inexorably toward a 1980s-style duopoly. Aduopoly of the two vertically-integratedBell companies would result inless choice for consumers and higher prices. A Twin Bellduopoly would stunt investment and innovation. No divestitures or conditions canremedy thesefundamentalanti-consumer and anti-competitive harms. AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile must be blocked.
The Proposed Takeover Would Harm Competition and Consumers
Over the past two decades, the Commission has played a leading role in bringingcompetition to the communications sector. In the 1980s, the Commission assigned freecellular licenses to providers, including the Bell operating companies. To initiate competitive wirelessservice, the Commission assigned two cellular licenses in every geographic area. The FCCissued the licenses at no cost to the Bell Operating Companies and other providers. The resultingduopoly never generated effective competition. Consequently, in the 1990s,the Commissionauctioned new spectrum licensesto break up the wireless duopoly. The Commission’s spectrumauctions gave rise to Sprint, T-Mobile, and other wireless carriers, and ushered in anera of competition and growth that has greatly benefitted consumers. Wireless competition has sparkeda technological revolution in broadband data services, applications, and devices. The wirelessindustry, including carriers, manufacturers, and application developers,has become an essential part of the nation’s information economy, generating billions of dollars in new investment every
 
REDACTED –FOR PUBLIC INSPECTION
iiyear and employing millions of Americans.The proposed transaction would turn back the clock on competition and innovation and bring this era of unprecedented wireless expansion and technological innovation to an abrupt, butavoidable,halt. The transaction would make AT&T the nation’s largest wireless carrier with118million subscribers in total and 43percent of the post-paid market. Coupled with Verizon’smore than 94.1million total subscribers and 39percentof the post-paid market, the transactionwould create a Twin Bell duopoly with 82percentof post-paid subscribers, over 78percentof allwireless revenues, and 88 percentofallwireless operating profits. The Twin Bells’ marketdominance would dwarf Sprint, the sole remaining national carrier, and the rest of the wirelessindustry, thereby creating an entrenched,anti-competitive duopoly.The proposed transaction would harm consumers, businesses, and competition in thetelecommunications industry and the American economy at large. These harms would occur ona national level because, as AT&T has repeatedly stated in prior transactions,competition amongwireless providers takes place on a national level. These anti-competitive harmswould alsoresultat the local level because much smaller carriers would have little abilityor incentivetodeter the Twin Bellsfrom coordinating their behavior, increasingprices,and reducing consumer choice.AT&T’s control over assets other providers need to compete, such as backhaul, spectrum,and roaming,would exacerbatetheanti-competitive effects of the takeover. As descendants of the Bell monopolies, AT&T and Verizon control key pieces of the nation’s wirelineinfrastructure, including backhaul facilities. This control enablesthe Twin Bells to raisecompetitors’ costs, reduce their network quality, and quash competitive alternatives. PermittingAT&T to amass unprecedented spectrum holdings(for example, three times asvaluable as

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