Department of Justice files to block AT&T and T-Mobile merger
So, um, I don't think you actually wanted the merger to go through anyway, right? I know I don't, which is why I'm very excited to have seen this pop up in my RSS reader this morning. The US Department of Justice has just filed to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger due to the lessening of wireless competition.
James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, said this:
“The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services.”
So the US government is actually getting involved in a matter that could potentially affect "tens of millions of consumers." This is very intense, indeed, and the FCC and AT&T have even commented, which makes me think that this isn't going to bode well at all for AT&T-Mobile. You can read those respective comments after the break.
"By filing suit today, the Department of Justice has concluded that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen competition in violation of the antitrust laws. Competition is an essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on competition. Vibrant competition in wireless services is vital to innovation, investment, economic growth and job creation, and to drive our global leadership in mobile. Competition fosters consumer benefits, including more choices, better service and lower prices."
[This is my next…]
"We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.
We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.
At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision and the facts are clear. This merger will:
· Help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.
· Allow AT&T to expand 4G mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;
· Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.
We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court."