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Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 05/03/2011

Consumers give FCC an earful on AT&T bid to buy T-Mobile

In less than three weeks since the Federal Communications Commission began taking comments on AT&T’s bid to buy T-Mobile, nearly 3,000 have rolled in — mostly from consumers asking the agency to reject the deal.

A look at the docket for the $39 billion proposed union shows few lawmakers weighing in on the merger. In contrast, Comcast’s deal to merge with NBC Universal drew early support and opposition from dozens of lawmakers and state regulators.

Instead, many of the comments appeared to come from existing T-Mobile subscribers.

Heather Campbell wrote that it was her first time filing comments, but she was compelled to do so because she feared what the merger would mean for her as a T-Mobile customer.

“Very few if any T-Mobile customers wake up in the morning wishing that their company could be absorbed and dismantled by another company,” she wrote. “We wake up proud of T-Mobile, proud of our choice in provider, and happy with the customer service they are known for. This will not be the way we wake up in an AT&T exclusive world.”

Haozhe Wang said she is an AT&T customer who feels it is important to have two national providers of GSM technology. Indeed, consumer groups say the consolidation of GSM providers — a more international standard — presents less competition for business travelers and could spell higher prices when using their phones abroad. Verizon and Sprint Nextel use CDMA wireless standards.

“No monopoly!!” Wang wrote.

Diana Potter, a years-long T-Mobile customer, said she fears having to buy a new phone and a more expensive service plan once her contract is up. AT&T has said it would allow T-Mobile users to keep their plans but didn’t say those plans could continue past the end of contracts.

“Don’t expect a big business to do something right for the customers, it’s all about what’s expedient and cheapest for them,” Potter wrote.

Related stories:

AT&T Exec Cicconi Q&A on merger

AT&T agrees to buy T-Mobile

New York AG investigates AT&T-T-Mobile deal

By  |  09:30 AM ET, 05/03/2011

 
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