This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

AT&T/T-Mobile Block Harms Job Creation

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

By Bruce Mehlman

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Consumer confidence is plunging. Economic growth has stalled. Foreclosures persist, the European debt debacle continues, U.S. unemployment remains high and America's annual government deficits are north of a trillion. The global economy is a scary place.

Yet amid the financial doom and gloom, one bright spot remains: mobile broadband. Throughout the dot-com bust of 2001, the financial collapse of 2008 and the 2011 debt dip, broadband availability, adoption and innovation expanded steadily and impressively. Wireless data services barely existed in 2001; today, more than 300 million Americans subscribe.

Wireless devices of a decade ago are museum relics compared with the current generation of smart phones, tablets and mobile appliances. Expanding wireless services will lead to critically-needed new jobs for our economy...as many as 771,000 according to Deloitte, both in the telecom industry directly and in the broader ecosystem of broadband-enabled jobs.

Mobile broadband is not just the golden goose: it's the only goose. So the Justice Department's recent decision to oppose a pro-broadband merger between AT&T (T - Get Report) and Deutsche Telekom's (DT) T-Mobile makes little economic, technological or political sense.

While the President and FCC correctly point to innovation as the only key to long-term growth and competitiveness, this action is inconsistent with those goals. Investing billions of the 2009 stimulus on broadband; reforming antiquated universal service and spectrum policies; using the bully pulpit to urge 98%broadband penetration are all useful initiatives. But government alone cannot get the job done. Blocking the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile combination will undermine and counteract any benefits realized from those other policy actions.

The inconsistency of the DOJ action may in part result from non-technologists' failure to appreciate how rapidly tech markets are evolving. The days of Standard Oil are long gone, and few leading tech companies remain on top for long. Or perhaps some lawyers are listening to the doom-and-gloom voices warning that this merger would spell the end of wireless competition, just as skeptics counseled against previous wireless combinations. In reality each subsequent merger has enabled greater investment, faster innovation, lower prices for consumers and more robust mobile services.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
S $4.32 -3.60%
T $35.59 -0.39%
VZ $46.91 -0.61%
AAPL $125.71 -0.58%
FB $87.66 0.43%

Markets

DOW 17,683.78 -46.33 -0.26%
S&P 500 2,072.85 -3.93 -0.19%
NASDAQ 4,998.5170 -10.6970 -0.21%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs