Print 27 comment(s) - last by nvpyyasnzqya.. on Jul 30 at 9:22 AM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Perfect time to go to T-Mobile
By Stiggalicious on 7/29/2011 10:32:40 AM , Rating: 2
My contract with Sprint ended at the perfect time, that's for sure. I'm going to T-Mobile this weekend.
T-Mobile's new "Value Plan" (which essentially gives you just a SIM card) is $70 a month for 1000 minutes plus unlimited texting for four lines (AT&T would be $120 or $130), and I just bought a brand-new Sidekick LX 2009 for $70 and it does everything I need very well.
All free phones nowadays are really terrible or require an expensive data plan. $15 per month times 2 years is $360. I'll just buy a good, older phone that doesn't have 4G or Facebook apps or built-in Youtube. I don't want any of those anyways, so why pay money for it? I want to be able to have clear conversations and to be able to type things easily (and nothing beats the Sidekick's keyboard).

If T-Mobile merges with AT&T, then I get to talk to more people for free while still paying little to nothing for my service. If they don't merge, then I still get to talk a ton on the GSM network (oh I am glad the days of roaming charges are over).

RE: Perfect time to go to T-Mobile
By Gzus666 on 7/29/2011 10:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
I have never in my life seen someone excited to become a part of AT&T. Are you sure you aren't a robot/AT&T shill?

RE: Perfect time to go to T-Mobile
By cjohnson2136 on 7/29/2011 11:46:21 AM , Rating: 2
Roaming charges...I am on Sprint and have never got roaming charges. I have never heard of anyone getting roaming charges so WTF are you talking about?

RE: Perfect time to go to T-Mobile
By Gzus666 on 7/29/2011 11:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
As I insinuated, he is probably a robot/AT&T shill. BURN THE WITCH!

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki