updated 08:05 am EDT, Thu May 19, 2011
AT&T meets with tech firms for T-Mobile deal
AT&T is said to be sweet talking tech firms on its planned acquisition of T-Mobile. Insiders report that its executives have met with the top Silicon Valley companies and venture-capital firms. The discussions, which were cordial, form a critical component of AT&T's proposed $39 billion take-over of T-Mobile. Their support, or at the very least lack of objection, will help it convince the Department of Justice and the FCC to green light the deal.
The talks revealed that the tech firms concerns center on spectrum availability, innovation and the openness of wireless networks. They were also concerned that reduced competition could lead to higher data plans, which might dissuade customers from purchasing their products. AT&T maintained that the firms had nothing to be concerned about on these counts and that the deal will bolster its network and deliver better quality, more consistent coverage to its customers.
"Most people were there in a be-friendly mode," said one person who attended the meeting. "No one was grilling them. Nobody was being confrontational."
With most tech companies banking on high-quality wireless services as being an essential aspect of the user experience, a guarantee of better network coverage and higher speeds is their principal concern. [via Wall Street Journal]