Politics: Need-to-Know Video

N2K: Huntsman’s Strength in Weakness

Add to Briefcase
April 17, 2011, 5:50 p.m.

Con­duc­ted 10/5-7; sur­veyed 1,008 adults; mar­gin of er­ror +/- 3.1%. Sub­sample of 504 LVs; mar­gin of er­ror +/- 4.4% (re­leases, 10/11-12).

Cong. Dem Lead­ers Job Ap­prov­al

- All LVs 3/28 3/21 10/18 4/26 2/09 11/08 10/08 Ap­prove 34% 32% 42% 33% 38% 43% 60% 47% 34% Dis­ap­prove 64 66 57 65 59 53 39 50 64

Cong. GOP Lead­ers Job Ap­prov­al

- All LVs 3/28 3/21 10/09 4/09 2/09 11/08 10/08 Ap­prove 31% 29% 36% 32% 33% 31% 44% 24% 27% Dis­ap­prove 66 67 63 66 66 65 55 73 71

If Dems Re­tain Con­trol Of Con­gress In This Nov.’s Elec­tion, Do You Think That Their Policies Would Move The Coun­try In The Right Dir./Wrong Dir. In ___ Area?

- ————All———— ————LVs———— - Right­Dir. Wrong­Dir. Right­Dir. Wrong­Dir. Ter­ror­ism 46% 50% 43% 52% Health care 43 56 43 56 Afgh­anistan 42 53 40 55 Eco­nomy 41 56 41 57 Eth­ics in gov’t 40 55 38 58 Taxes 40 58 38 60 Il­leg­al im­mig­ra­tion 36 58 33 61 The amount of money gov’t spends 29 69 31 68

If GOP­ers Win Con­trol Of Con­gress In This Nov.’s Elec­tion, Do You Think That Their Policies Would Move The Coun­try In The Right Dir./Wrong Dir. In ___ Area?

- ————All———— ————LVs———— - Right­Dir. Wrong­Dir. Right­Dir. Wrong­Dir. Ter­ror­ism 58% 36% 62% 33% Il­leg­al im­mig­ra­tion 50 44 53 42 Health care 48 50 52 45 Eco­nomy 47 49 52 45 Afgh­anistan 45 48 47 44 Taxes 45 51 52 45 Eth­ics in gov’t 43 50 49 44 The amount of money gov’t spends 43 54 49 46

Obama Has The Per­son­al­ity And Lead­er­ship Qual­it­ies A POTUS Should Have

- Now 5/23 1/10 10/09 4/09 11/08 9/08 6/08 1/08 Agree 59% 65% 64% 66% 75% 66% 64% 63% 59% Dis­agree 40 35 35 33 24 34 36 36 38

Do You Agree/Dis­agree With Obama On The Is­sues That Mat­ter Most To You?

- Now 5/23 1/10 10/09 4/09 11/08 9/08 Agree 42% 48% 49% 48% 57% 60% 56% Dis­agree 55 50 50 51 41 40 43

The ar­gu­ment over the pro­posed mer­ger of AT&T and T-Mo­bile USA has been a tale of two T-Mos.

T-Mo­bile, the na­tion’s fourth-largest wire­less car­ri­er, is either a com­pet­it­ive force that AT&T is try­ing to elim­in­ate from the mar­ket, or a strug­gling firm on the brink of col­lapse.

Now that the Justice De­part­ment and the Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion have come out against the mer­ger, the big ques­tion is what will hap­pen to T-Mo­bile if the deal fails. The com­pany’s 30 mil­lion cus­tom­ers and 40,000 em­ploy­ees would surely love to know.

There are only a few paths for­ward for the com­pany: It can con­tin­ue op­er­at­ing as an in­di­vidu­al firm, it can court a new buy­er, or its own­er, Deutsche Telekom, can be­gin shut­ter­ing op­er­a­tions and selling off pieces.

Which is most likely? Im­possible to say.

Des­pite pages and pages of ana­lys­is on the ques­tion, a reg­u­lat­ory fight is stand­ing in the way of any good guesses about T-Mo­bile’s fu­ture. Both sides have a lot rid­ing on their nar­rat­ive about how be­lea­guered T-Mo­bile is today, and the read on T-Mo­bile’s op­tions is fun­da­ment­al to mer­ger ar­gu­ments on both sides. Any real clar­ity on T-Mo­bile’s pro­spects de­pends on its own­er speak­ing up about how much it wants to be in the U.S. wire­less busi­ness, but that kind of straight talk shouldn’t be ex­pec­ted un­til the mer­ger fight is truly over.

T-Mo’s op­tions have be­come a di­vid­ing line in the mer­ger de­bate. Deal op­pon­ents make T-Mo­bile sound like a pretty im­press­ive com­pany.

Here’s how the Justice De­part­ment de­scribed the car­ri­er in its com­plaint against the mer­ger, filed in Au­gust: T-Mo­bile “places im­port­ant com­pet­it­ive pres­sure on its three lar­ger rivals, par­tic­u­larly in terms of pri­cing, a crit­ic­ally im­port­ant as­pect of com­pet­i­tion.”

T-Mo­bile is “a sig­ni­fic­ant com­pet­it­ive force from the mar­ket,” DOJ ad­ded, and its “in­vest­ment in an ad­vanced high-speed net­work and its in­nov­a­tions in tech­no­logy and mo­bile wire­less tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions ser­vices have provided, and con­tin­ue to provide, con­sumers with sig­ni­fic­ant value.”

But AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, as a cent­ral part of their mer­ger ar­gu­ment, say it will be very dif­fi­cult for T-Mo­bile to com­pete in the near-term.

At a House hear­ing in May, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Ober­mann said T-Mo­bile can­not up­grade its net­work to the latest and speedi­est “long-term evol­u­tion,” or LTE, wire­less tech­no­logy.

“While oth­er com­pet­it­ors are mov­ing quickly to build out and de­vel­op their LTE net­works, T-Mo­bile lacks a clear path to LTE de­ploy­ment. To meet the ex­po­nen­tial growth in de­mand for band­width, T-Mo­bile will need to move to LTE to re­main com­pet­it­ive,” Ober­mann said.

T-Mo­bile needs more air­waves if it is to up­grade to this tech­no­logy ef­fect­ively, ac­cord­ing to Ober­mann.

T-Mo­bile CEO Phil­ipp Humm un­der­scored the com­pany’s dif­fi­culties in testi­mony to the Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, say­ing Deutsche Telekom does not have a way to keep in­vest­ing in it.

“In ad­di­tion to these un­solved stra­tegic is­sues, T-Mo­bile’s par­ent, Deutsche Telekom, is not in a po­s­i­tion to fin­ance the ne­ces­sary large-scale in­vest­ments in the U.S. for T-Mo­bile to re­main com­pet­it­ive. The com­bin­a­tion with AT&T al­lows T-Mo­bile to ad­dress these chal­lenges as well as to real­ize near-term be­ne­fits for its cus­tom­ers,” he said.

The com­pany line is that DT is done in­vest­ing in T-Mo. As long as the com­pany is con­trac­tu­ally ob­lig­ated to pro­mote the mer­ger, that is ex­pec­ted to re­main the line.

So what’s next for T-Mo­bile? A mer­ger with Sprint? A buy­ing spree of smal­ler com­pan­ies? An at­tempt to lever­age the po­ten­tial break­up fee from AT&T — bil­lions of dol­lars plus spec­trum — to get a leg up in the mar­ket? An “out-of-busi­ness” sign on the door? Ana­lysts have writ­ten reams on the ques­tion in re­cent days.

But it’s im­possible to say un­til Deutsche Telekom can be forth­com­ing about wheth­er it has a de­sire to in­vest in the U.S. in the af­ter­math of a failed mer­ger. Some factors have changed since the mer­ger was filed, in­clud­ing new chal­lenges for the European eco­nomy and a great­er pro­spect that more spec­trum will go on the mar­ket in the U.S.

But Deutsche Telekom surely won’t speak up un­til — if — the mer­ger is truly dead.

What We're Following See More »
Christopher Wray Approved as New FBI Director
56 minutes ago
DOJ Announces Dark Web Marketplace Take Down
59 minutes ago

"The Justice Department on Thursday announced it had shuttered an illicit Internet marketplace for drugs, firearms and fake documents in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said was the 'largest dark Web takedown in world history. Known as AlphaBay, the marketplace on the dark Web was where users whose identities were masked could engage in substantial buying and selling of illicit goods."

Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
2 hours ago

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Former Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH) Dies
2 hours ago

"A native of Beach City, Regula served in the U.S. Navy. He was a private-practice lawyer, teacher and school principal who served on the Ohio Board of Education and in the Ohio House and state Senate before he won election to Congress for the first time in 1972 — the first of 18 straight victories before deciding not to seek re-election in 2008."

Trump Issues Executive Order
2 hours ago

President Trump issued an executive order to establish a presidential advisory council on infrastructure to advance projects and help the American people. The council will be composed of 15 members and their mission is to study infrastructure projects and make recommendations to the president. It will terminate December 31, 2018, unless the president extends it.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.