Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Competition would increase
Competition would increase

The claim: AT&T said that its merger would increase competition, since regional carriers like MetroPCS and Leap Wireless would add subscribers, essentially filling the void left by T-Mobile. AT&T also says that merging with T-Mobile would not limit competition for its own customers, since the companies don't actually compete.

The response: The FCC said that its analysis of data provided by the wireless carriers suggests that AT&T and T-Mobile are, in fact, competitors. Many AT&T customers switch to T-Mobile and vice versa, viewing one another as a clear second choice.

The companies themselves also acknowledge that by launching ad campaigns directly targeted at one another, the FCC said. Most recently, T-Mobile launched a campaign earlier this year that portrays AT&T's network as a burden to customers.

"Our review of the evidence indicates that T-Mobile is a substitute for AT&T," the FCC said in its report.

That's not the case for small, fringe carriers, the regulator argued.

"We are skeptical of the applicants' position that the regional providers -- firms with considerably less spectrum, much smaller footprints ... -- would and could expand and compete effectively in the space now occupied by T-Mobile."


By David Goldman @CNNMoneyTech - Last updated December 01 2011: 6:07 AM ET
Join the Conversation

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday blasted AT&T, accusing the telecom giant of lying about the benefits of its proposed merger with T-Mobile.