By Joe Levi | July 21, 2011 12:09 PM
Herb Kohl is a United States Senator and the chairman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee — and he recommends that planned purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T should be denied.
“I have concluded that this acquisition, if permitted to proceed, would likely cause substantial harm to competition and consumers, would be contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest, and therefore should be blocked by your agencies.”
Additionally, in a letter to the Justice Department and the FCC, members of Congress have expressed their concerns about the merger:
“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. Such industry consolidation could reduce competition and increase consumer costs at a time our country can least afford it.”
But AT&T isn’t standing by, and recently fired back:
“We respect Senator Kohl. However, we feel his view is inconsistent with antitrust law, is shared by few others, and ignores the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction. This is a decision that will be made by the Department of Justice and the FCC under applicable law and after a full and fair examination of the facts. We continue to believe those reviews will result in approval of this transaction.”
My own United States Senator, Mike Lee (R, Utah) added his voice to the matter:
“The mobile phone market is a critical component of our nation’s economy and the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deserves careful review. In my view, the merger has the potential to provide significant network efficiencies that may help alleviate capacity constraints, enable enhanced service quality, and facilitate expansion of a 4G LTE nationwide network, which would in turn create opportunities for handset innovation and continued development of data-rich applications.”
Which side do you stand on? Do you want to see the AT&T/T-Mobile merger go through? Are you happy with the current choice of carriers in the USA? Let us know in the comments!