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.
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