AT&T to seek expedited hearing for T-Mobile merger

ATT said it will seek a legal remedy to the Department of Justice’s decision to block its $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA.

“We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed,” said Wayne Watts, ATT senior executive vice president and general counsel. ”The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.”

The Justice Department said today it is blocking the merger because the No. 2 wireless carrier in the country (ATT) acquiring the No. 4 wireless carrier (T-Mobile) would reduce competition and raise prices.

Those are the same arguments raised by consumer groups and No. 3 carrier Sprint since it was announced in March. ATT said the DOJ’s announcement today was unexpected.

“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,” Watts said.

Watts said ATT’s T-Mobile purchase will:

  • Solve the nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions;
  • Allow ATT to expand 4G mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97 percent of the population;
  • Result in billions of dollars in additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs.


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