AT&T Wireless tried for T-Mobile in what looks like an attempt at building a bridge too far. Which Blawgletter thought from the get-go.
[Let's ignore for now the thing the editors of our — and AT&T's — hometown paper wrote about the FCC's failure to shoo the AT&T/T-Mobile deal through. Let's just say they'd have done better if they'd said we want one of our biggest companies to get even larger because we hope that'll help the local economy. But they instead wrote that the deal would produce more jobs, better service, lower taxes, longer daylight hours, fewer murders, and slower global warming.]
Now we hear that the very most gigantic wireless company, Verizon, just inked a deal with two of the very most titanic cable firms, Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House, to — get this — stop trying to compete for wireless customers!
The cable guys will cede to Verizon the spectrum that belongs to their wireless joint venture, SpectrumCo. In return, Verizon agrees to pay $3.6 billion and to sell subscriptions to Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House cable.
Can you say "market allocation"?
The fact that these deals happen out in the open doesn't, by the way, make them legal. AT&T's with T-Mobile made front pages, but that didn't stop the Federal Communications Commission from moving to block it.
The WSJ takes the view that the FCC has no business using "antitrust theory from the industrial era" to block the AT&T/T-Mobile deal because, even though the merger would "enhance" AT&T's "market power", giving AT&T more market power "[is] not the same as harming competition."
We can trust AT&T to do nothing but good.
Forgive us for thinking not.