November 10, 2011 2:14 PM
One of those times was about 6 weeks ago, in a post entitled "Should the Merger Guidelines Come with Guidelines? The point of the post was that the Guidelines don't really account for barriers to exit (which increase barriers to prospective entry), especially when merger enforcement could exacerbate already-high entry barriers by adding "barriers to exit", which would not otherwise exist. Does anyone even follow the reasoning that the agency--by undertaking an enforcement action--can change the original characteristics of the market on which its action is focused? I didn't think so.
BUT, if you did read the whole post, you would have seen this quote "Perhaps China Telecom, Carlos Slim, SingTel, or some other prolific foreign telecom investor, will, at some point, come to DT's rescue?" (emphasis added) If you read this far, then you wouldn't have been at all surprised to see this story from Bloomberg a couple days ago, announcing that China Telecom plans to enter the U.S. market sometime in 2012. Interestingly, the President of China Telecom Americas does not rule out entering on an own-facilities basis, noting that "money is not a problem."
So, on the off chance that the government and AT&T are unable to work out a satisfactory compromise that allows AT&T to expand output, protects consumers and rewards DT's substantial investment, it looks like all hope might not be lost for DT. I write this for you 4 readers that did read that post. Rest assured, I'm doing my best to provide a thorough analysis of all potential consequences of government actions--even unintended consequences.
If you're one of my few readers . . . thank you . . . and please give your friends this message: "Telecomsense: Just Shut Up and Read It!"