Consumer Group Says No More Spectrum For Ma Bell

from the you've-had-enough dept

When AT&T announced its plans to buy Bellsouth, we noted that consumer groups seemed to be focusing in on Cingular as an anti-trust issue, which made little sense. There is healthy competition in the mobile space, and spinning the company off wouldn't really impact the competitive balance in any way. The latest tactic, though, is equally odd. A consumer group is asking the US Senate not to sell AT&T any more spectrum, claiming that the company will be in a dominant position to bundle a variety of services, priced in a way that no other competitor can match. Now, it's good to watch out for the potential of AT&T to become a monopoly, but it's not at all clear how spectrum really matters here. It's not about the bundle of services, but all about the pipe. If you have a big enough connection, than you can bundle whatever services you want -- so the argument that no one can compete doesn't ring true. Most areas have quite a bit of competition from mobile operators (unlike wired broadband), and it's difficult to see how stopping AT&T from buying more spectrum for Cingular changes this equation, other than slowing down Cingular's ability to build out its next generation network -- which is already far behind Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    David McArthur, Mar 15th, 2006 @ 1:18pm


    "bundle a variety of services, priced in a way that no other competitor can match"

    And this bad how?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    RW, Mar 16th, 2006 @ 4:53am


    I remember working for AT&T in 1990 for several years when divestiture was still new and having a choice in your local telephone company was a matter of where you lived. If you didn't like who you had you had only one recourse - move.

    So... to see AT&T slowly put the pieces back together again is ironic if not amusing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.