We’ve been whaling on the AT&T-Mobile merger for a while, not because we hate capitalism, but because it was so blatantly lazy, and the spin AT&T put on it was so blatantly disingenuous. AT&T was literally buying T-Mobile for its 4G spectrum, because AT&T is too cheap and lazy to upgrade their network (ask anybody with an iPhone), and then had the cojones to complain about it when the government did its job.
But now it’s over, officially: AT&T is paying T-Mobile $4 billion in cash and spectrum rights, and entering into “a mutually beneficial roaming arrangement” with T-Mobile, but the merger is done. And they’re going to shuffle back into the locker room, holding their nuts and wondering how they could get kicked so hard in the groin.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, will probably continue to die; even with a couple of billion in cash, they’re still number four in the market, part of the Carrier IQ scandal, and owned by a company that wants to get rid of them. So, yeah, they’ll still be gone by the end of 2012, but hey, at least they’ve got some cash for a nice farewell dinner!