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AT&T is receiving support from one U.S. state regulator and 11 state attorneys general who are for the merger

AT&T has been working to acquire Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA in a $39 billion deal, but the U.S. Senate's antitrust committee recently expressed doubts in regards to the merger. Now, AT&T is receiving support on the matter from one U.S. state regulator and 11 state attorneys general who are for the merger.

Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), chairman of the antitrust committee, as well as Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif., 14th District), chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass., 7th District), and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich., 14th District) are among those opposing the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. They openly expressed their opinions in a letter to the Department of Justice (DOP) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saying that such a merger would kill competition and hike prices for customers.

"We believe that AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile would be a troubling backward step in federal public policy -- a retrenchment from nearly two decades of promoting competition and open markets to acceptance of a duopoly in the wireless marketplace," they wrote. "Such industry consolidation could reduce competition and increase consumer costs at a time our country can least afford it."

AT&T responded to the U.S. Senate committee, saying that these opinions are "inconsistent with antitrust law, is shared by few others, and ignores the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction." AT&T also mentioned that the merger would help it expand a quicker service to more people.

Now, it looks like AT&T has acquired more supporters to help push this merger along. The Louisiana Public Service Commission, which regulates transportation and public utilities in the state, voted 4-1 to approve the merger. In addition, another 11 state attorneys general wrote a letter to the DOP and FCC asking for merger-specific conditions that protect competition as well as public interest, yet doesn't delay the merger.

The 11 state attorneys general supporting the merger are Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Utah, Mississippi, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.

"Their call for federal regulators to expeditiously review and approve the merger further builds on our unprecedented nationwide support from federal, state and local elected officials, national unions, non-profit organizations and high-tech and venture capital firms," said Wayne Watts, AT&T's senior executive vice president and general counsel.

If the merger were to go through, 80 percent of the U.S. wireless market would be consumed by two companies -- Verizon Wireless and AT&T/T-Mobile. Verizon has not mentioned whether it is for or against the merger, but chief executive Dan Mead has said that he is "not concerned" with it. Analysts believe Verizon could benefit from the merger by picking up subscribers during the potentially frustrating period of transition during the merging of both companies.

Sprint, on the other hand, has made its opinion clear -- it is against the merger mainly for competitive reasons, and has also said that bring both companies together will "stifle innovation" in the wireless market.

Ultimately, the choice is up to the Justice Department, which will conduct an antitrust review, and the FCC, which will decide if the merge is best for the public.

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By chick0n on 7/29/2011 12:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
Now, AT&T is receiving support on the matter from one U.S. state regulator and 11 state attorneys general who are for the merger.

You mean

Now, AT&T is receiving support on the matter "AFTER" they "bribe ..." grrr oops I mean they paid those lobbyist to "donate" crap load of money to one U.S. state regulator and 11 state attorneys general who are for the merger ?

It's funny that when every f-king body on the street is screaming on this merger, these "regulators/lawmakers" just don't "see" these anger and instead they said "hey, it's actually ok to merge !"

RE: Corrections
By Mathos on 7/29/2011 2:28:10 AM , Rating: 2
In all honesty, if our government keeps going the way it is, they'll piss off enough people to cause a full on revolution. At which point they will be removed from their positions. They're more worried about representing the views of their parties now than they are about representing the views of the people who elected them.

RE: Corrections
By gorehound on 7/29/2011 8:06:58 AM , Rating: 3
Viva Le Revolotion !!!

RE: Corrections
By SniperWulf on 7/29/2011 8:56:42 AM , Rating: 2
Kicking people out of office is only the start. We gotta abolish this lobbying crap too. All those former politicians will do is get a job at some lobbying firm.

RE: Corrections
By Gzus666 on 7/29/2011 10:46:14 AM , Rating: 2
Let's be honest, if a revolution of that sort actually happens, the mob will just kill people, not remove them.

RE: Corrections
By theslug on 7/29/2011 2:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
I really want to know why lobbying aka bribery is even legal. Shouldn't the government be 100% supportive of the people of the nation and not of companies? Any politician that accepts bribes from a company to see things their way, instead of what's best for people in general, is corrupt and should be voted out.

What I also don't get is where you draw the line between lobbying and actual bribery (in the strictest definition of the word), because it seems they are basically the same. Except one's legal and one isn't.

RE: Corrections
By geddarkstorm on 7/29/2011 3:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
There is often a great disparity between how things should be and how things are.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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