AT&T’s massive loss this evening has been telegraphed since… T-Mobile.
I wrote about this in November (AT&T is going to lose 4 Billion!) and even back in August (AT&T + T-Mobile = Arnaque).
To be honest I’d lost interest. The obvious stupidity of this deal baffled me at the moment, but impotent I moved on. I should have taken note…
Tonight AT&T posted a $6.7 Billion quarterly loss, with margins falling. And considering the collapse of the $39 Billion deal, a humbling experience by any measure, why not spend the earnings-call reassuring your investors? Or even groveling a bit? Mr. Stephenson you might have even tried to be humble. But bashing the FCC?
I’m reminded of Netflix!
Here’s a quote from Reuters:
In his first presentation to investors since the December collapse of his $39 billion bid to buy Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA , Chief Executive Randall Stephenson spent much of the earnings call criticizing the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for opposing the deal.
The FCC colludes in your partial monopoly, companies with far less firepower would have managed both the deals and the marketing many times better than you have.
Mr. Stephenson, why do you still have your job?
I wrote this AT&T commentary a few days ago. The merger is a bad idea and the battle looks to get ugly. T stupidly agreed to a huge cash payout if the US blocks the deal. Part of the battle looks to include some crafty “job creation” blackmail. Not too surprising for T but then I saw another one, naively I didn’t realise this was so common.
Blackmail or Negotiation…
$T: “AT&T vows to bring back 5,000 US jobs if merger approved”
$AMZN: “Amazon offers Calif. 7,000 jobs if it drops tax”
- “Democrats are in no mood to negotiate with Amazon. A spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he instead aims to garner support for a bill to thwart Amazon from bringing its referendum to undo the online sales tax.”
I’ll add some more fun ones as I catch them!
For those of you who have suffered The French Administration – for that matter, The European Administration – you might imagine telecom services nightmarish. You’re half right and half wrong. Service, or the notion of service, here is sadly lacking. On the other hand when the telecom markets were released from a monopolistic France Telecom (I think that started around 2002) dozens of very positive things happened very quickly. It didn’t happen without some pain, but a company called Iliad helped move things along.
Iliad launched what’s called a Free Box. Iliad is now worth 4 Billion Euros (with a B).
Since the Free Box’s release France Telecom (Orange), SFR, and several others have been following their every move, even calling their products ‘XYZ’ Box. Lame, we agree.
But for 29 Euros or maybe 39 now, you get fibre (if you’re lucky) or SDSL, 445 channels of television (CNN used to cost me 25 cents per month), a Tivo type disk recording solution, free international telephone, WiFi, etc. More than you can imagine. All of this happens over copper land lines (unless you have fibre access). And this got me thinking…
If you’re a cable subscriber in the US for your internet and television, you probably pay for a home phone and surely an i-phone with AT&T. All this pushes you over $200 a month? How many choices do you really have? Is it easy to find a competitor in your market? I’m pretty sure it isn’t. You’re already getting screwed today and the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger will make it worse. The lobyists and the telecom industry in the US are pulling your chain. I hope this recent news isn’t just ‘wind’. You should reject $T and this merger and support the anti-trust complaint.
I’m embarrassed that the US isn’t leading telecom innovation, mobile and fixed. I won’t even go into how your phones are blocked by the carrier… I’d love to see the US take the lead here. It’s unlikely, there’s too much easy money, but we can always hope for a disruptive competitor. It’s an investement I’d love to find and I’d fully support, but until then, this merger is a very bad idea!