Breakups

AT&T Drunk Dials the FCC


“Some have recently argued that the government’s review of transactions in the wireless space, or let’s be frank, review of one specific transaction, is somehow causing a shortage of spectrum leading that company to raise prices for consumers.”

—FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a May 8 speech to a wireless convention in New Orleans

Look, we know you’re there, commission, and we know you’re screening, and whatever, but just … just listen, O.K.? O.K.? This is important. We, you, it was so good. It was so good, commission. Remember when you came to Orlando last year, and you were all talking about spectrum crunch, and we were all “Omigod, we’ve been talking about spectrum crunch, too,” and you were all “I know,” and we were all “I know.” Do you remember that?

Well, clearly you don’t. Because we were having an O.K. time in New Orleans, even though things have not been great with us since, you know, since that GERMAN THING, we thought O.K. O.K. If the commission wants to talk, it can talk. That’s totally fair. And then you get up there, you. … I’m sorry. I’m sorry. This is hard. You just get up there, and YOU DIDN’T MENTION SPECTRUM CRUNCH ONCE.

NOT. ONCE.

Is that what you do, commission? IS THAT WHAT YOU DO? You just toy with companies like that? Well, we hope you had fun in New Orleans, because you’re going to like this, after you were done talking we Told. Everyone. What you said. Everyone. You like that? Because now, commission, everyone knows just what kind of commission you are.

We gave you CUPCAKES.

AND THEN. That’s not even it, that’s not even EVERYTHING you, in New Orleans, we’re listening, and it’s like we can’t even understand what’s happening, it’s like the ceiling in the ballroom is coming down on top of us and you keep talking, you just talk, and you say this, I’m sorry, this is just so. Hard. You say this THING, you say:

“It’s fair to expect, as with previous generations of wireless, that new technologies will allow providers to deliver more bits at lower cost, and that in a competitive market these benefits will be passed on to consumers as well as supporting ongoing capital investment.”

We don’t even know what to say. Do you want us to compete? Is that what you want? Do you want us to provide better service at lower cost than our competitors?

We gave you CUPCAKES.

So. So.

We are DONE. We are DONE trying to explain to you basic economics and the law of supply and demand. And we don’t know what we’re going to do now. We may have to raise prices. We’re serious, commission, that’s just where we are right now. That’s just what this is now. That is what you have done to us.

We gave you cupcakes.

Greeley-brendan-190
Greeley is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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