经济学人双语版:美国移动通讯业-联姻大胆,反响不佳

Mobile telecoms in America美国移动通讯业

An audacious merger with a poor reception(注1)联姻大胆,反响不佳

AT&T’s ambitious bid to reshape America’s wireless market has spooked rivals。 But it faces significant hurdles

AT&T的竞标雄心勃勃,意在重塑美国无线通讯市场,竞争对手惊慌失措。但并购也面临重大阻碍

PEOPLE who enjoy poking fun at the patchy quality of AT&T’s mobile-phone network in America were provided with some fresh comedy material this week。 “So, AT&T and T-Mobile are getting married。 You’re all invited。 But there will be no reception afterwards,” tweeted one wag after news emerged on March 20th that AT&T had bid a breathtaking $39 billion for T-Mobile USA, a smaller wireless operator owned by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom。

在美国,AT&T移动电话网络质量不稳常遭人取笑,那些以此为乐的人,本周有了新鲜笑料。3月20日,AT&T以390亿美元的惊人出价,竞购德国Deutsche Telekom公司旗下的小型无线通讯运营商T-Mobile USA,新闻曝光后,一条段子在Twitter上风传:“于是,AT&T跟T-Mobile喜结良缘。人人获邀出席。但之后却无人设宴,也无人赴宴。”

Amusing as this is, the deal itself is no laughing matter。 On the contrary, the proposed merger, which needs the approval of antitrust and telecoms regulators, has sparked a good deal of controversy over whether it will be good or bad for American consumers。 Some members of Congress have called for a thorough review of the transaction and consumer groups have been quick to condemn it。

段子很有趣,但交易本身却非笑料。相反,这桩须获反垄断机构及通讯监管机构批准的并购提案,引发了多场论战,争论此次交易对美国消费者是利是弊。一些国会议员呼吁全面评估这桩交易,而多个消费者团体迅速予以谴责。

Their concern is hardly surprising. America’s four largest mobile-phone operators—AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel—already account for 82% of the national market. Assuming the transaction goes ahead as planned, AT&T would add T-Mobile’s 34m customers to the 96m that it had at the end of 2010, propelling it well ahead of Verizon, its main rival.

他们如此关注,并不足为奇。美国四大移动电话运营商——AT&T、Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA及Sprint Nextel,已占全美无线通讯市场的82%。去年底,AT&T用户达9600万,倘若交易如期进行,T-Mobile的3400万用户也收归帐下,AT&T就将大大领先其主要竞争对手Verizon。

Critics of the deal, which AT&T hopes to complete within 12 months, say it will undermine efforts made many years ago to inject more competition into America’s telecoms industry. In the mid-1970s the government started investigating AT&T’s dominant position in fixed-line telephones, which led to the break up in 1984 of “Ma Bell” into eight pieces. Could the bid for T-Mobile be a sign that monopoly Ma is trying to return from her grave?

AT&T希望此事一年搞定,但批评人士称,这将破坏多年前为促进美国通讯业竞争而作出的种种努力。上世纪七十年代中期,政府开始调查AT&T在固定电话业务上的主导地位,导致“贝尔大妈”在1984年被大卸八块。而今年这起竞购,会成为“大妈”试图起死回生的一个标志吗?

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