Good for AT&T, bad for customers.
AT&T and T-Mobile is the only remaining GSM carriers in the US. They shouldn't be allowed to leave the US with only one GSM carrier; same applies to Sprint and Verizon.
During the $39bn squabble in a US Senate hearing room about whether AT&T's proposed acqusition of T-Mobile should pass antitrust muster, it was no easy feat to sift fact from fiction – although it was easy to discern that the stakes were high and the arguments passionate. "First and foremost, this transaction is about …
AT&T and T-Mo are both full of it. One overfull network, acquiring another overfull network will not bring relief.
The clear intent is to eliminate a rival, and acquire more spectrum for themselves. AT&T will not innovate, offer more to consumers, or decrease prices.
What would incent them to do any of those things? Only competetive advantage drives innovation and controls costs. The only vehicle for cost controls will be to remove redundancies between the two organizations. You can guess which ones will be let go.
One thing I note a lot of on Sprint but not AT&T are MVNOs, outside companies that resell a carrier's bandwidth. Some of the Sprint ones (and the odd one on T-Mobile--note that includes Walmart) can undercut the providers themselves, probably because they can loss-lead by having profitable businesses elsewhere. But I see very few use AT&T's network, and none of them can undercut AT&T itself. Perhaps there's something there, a possible way to open up the potential (and it seem inevitable--companies will either get bought or get crushed simply from the natural course of events: capitalism or "winner economics" in action) for more competition.
... to describe exactly HOW they were going to increase benefits to consumers.
Did they pledge to keep T-Mobile's plans (which are somewhat cheaper) for at least a little while?
Did they pledge to upgrade network capacity or make any other changes based on "stronger" company resources?
An unlimited data plan like T-Mobile has now?
Job growth (ha ha)?
No? Funny, that. A perfect time to publicly roll out the expected benefits to users, but nothing concrete. NOTHING that I heard of.
Perhaps the consumers might not actually benefit.
The most I heard as a benefit was "Spectrum", and there's more than one way to skin that cat.