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7 states join the fight against AT&T and T-Mobile merger

California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington have all jumped on the Department of Justice's bandwagon to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. Echoing the concerns expressed in the DOJ's lawsuit about the deal killing compettion, New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneidermen explained in a statement how his state would be affected: "This proposed merger would stifle competition in markets that are crucial to New York's consumers and businesses, while reducing access to low-cost options and the newest broadband-based technologies."

AT&T responded to the news of the new plaintiffs in a statement of their own:

It is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings. At the same time, we appreciate that 11 state attorneys general and hundreds of other local, state and federal officials are publicly supportive of our merger. We will continue to seek an expedited hearing on the DOJ’s complaint. On a parallel path, we have been and remain interested in a solution that addresses the DOJ’s issues with the T-Mobile merger.

We remain confident that we’ll reach a successful conclusion and look forward to delivering the merger benefits of additional wireless network capacity to improve customer service, expanded LTE deployment to 55 million more Americans, $8 billion in additional investment, and a commitment to bring 5,000 wireless call center jobs back to the United States.

Though AT&T may be hoping to settle with the Department of Justice, it will be more difficult now that the seven states have joined in. An initial scheduling hearing has been set for September 21 where a date for the trial will be set. The DOJ is pushing for a March 19 start, while AT&T is looking to begin January 16.

Source: Reuters; Via: PhoneScoop

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Reader comments

7 states join the fight against AT&T and T-Mobile merger

14 Comments

This is so silly. T-Mobile is going away, one way or another. So would it be ok if VZW (nations largest carrier) bought them? How about Sprint? But neither of them would be interested since they have differing network technology. I don't see what the point of trying to stop this is. It's really just government trying to save face over the original breakup of AT&T.

Extactly my thoughts. GSM with GSM.I don't even have AT&T and I want this to happen. I have Verizon but, finally AT&T would be an option I would look at.

You probably haven't been following this but... Sprint was the first one in talks to buy T-Mobile! They had actually met up a couple of times and were supposed to be settling on a price when out of no where AT&T swoops in and sways Deuche (not sure if that's how its spelled) Telecom and apparently had a bigger pay check. Sprint's argument is that it will stifle competition which should give AT&T about 130-140 mil customers (they are currently at 90 or so [so is Verizon]). Sprint says this will greatly hurt them but they want T-Mobile. Now this would boost Sprint with the big boys as they are currently around 140-150 mil customers.

Yes, Sprint had some talks with Deustch Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company in Europe, when T-Mobile was first put up on the auction block. But, Sprint was only interested as far as a feeling out process, and the initial talks bore no real interest on either side. Even though Sprint was very interested in the spectrum and markets T-Mobile had, they had already made the mistake of one bad fit with the iDen network that was incompatable and an anchor to their profits when they merged with Nextel. On top of that, cash in hand was a problem with Sprint- they could not outright buy T-Mobile. Any purchase that Sprint would have pursued would have left D.T. with a huge portion of the stocks and profits for years to come due them from the new company formed. It was a bad fit.Also, let us not forget the simple math here- Sprint (50 million customers) + T-Mobile (roughly 44 million) would have put them on the level with AT&T (95 million cutomers I think) and Verizon (100 million give or take). Add that 44 million to AT&T's base, and the numbers are so skewed in AT&T's favor it is troublesome to comprehend how Sprint could compete.

First off, preventing ONE company from controlling all of the GSM handsets in the U.S. is not a bad thing. This deal can not be allowed to go through.Second, are you really implying that the Government was WRONG to break up Ma Bell all those years ago? Are you insane?

I feel the more carriers the better for consumers. It forces the companies to be compete and drives down prices for consumers. AT&T wants T-mobile because they're the only other GSM carrier in the States.

Coincidentally they include the most broke states and the most corrupt as well. Sounds like a great plan to listen to states which are insolvent.

I won't go so far as saying corrupt, except for my State- Illinois. As a proud down state resident, I am very loathe to point out that two of our last three Governors and five in all have been convicted of crimes. However, it is pretty easy to see the politcal ines being drawn here. Liberal states are lining up against it along with the Department of Justice.

Republican (red) states are more corrupt than the blue ones, passing laws and ordinances that disenfranchise minorities. that's as corrupt as one can get.

Glad to see my state of New York in there.If we're lucky, this deal will actually be shot down instead of being passed like that BS Comcast/NBC merger.

Again...why was VZW allowed to buy Altel once they because a national company, but AT&T cant buy TMobile, whos actually trying to sell?

I have heard rumblings that there may be five other companies that have interest in T-Mobile. I do not have a clue who they are, only that they are not current Mobile companies. If that is true, I am very much against this merger. If there is any way to keep the 4 national carriers, that is what needs to happen.If, however, that is not true, and the option is T-Mobile being kicked to the curb if AT&T doesn't purchase them, than I feel this has to go through. I do not believe AT&T's claim that no one will lose their jobs from this merger for one second. But, If AT&T is the only option and Deustch Telekom (my apoligies if I am misspelling that) just wants out, than no one's job will be safe if this falls through. I am not against AT&T buying T-Mobile as much as I am against losing the four national carriers.

And the DOJ as well as the those 7 states are full of nothing but smooth-brained, feeble-minded idiots. I'm sick of government getting in the way. And I'm sick of cousins breeding and producing those people.