The Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against AT&T in an effort to block its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA, but that has not stopped 100 lawmakers from signing a letter pushing the government to settle the suit and approve the merger. Interestingly, 99 of the House Republicans who signed the letter have accepted political donations from employees of AT&T within the last two years, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. A total of $963,275 had been donated to these lawmakers, according to the advocacy group Public Knowledge. The donations are still coming in, too. According to Bloomberg, Pete Olson, who already signed the letter, is holding a “Telecommunications Industry Lunch” on Thursday that is “backed by AT&T lobbyists.” Read on for more. More →
AT&T will pay T-Mobile $3 billion in cash, a $1 billion roaming agreement, and $2 billion in spectrum if the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice reject AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The agreement’s 15% breakup fee would shatter global records, Reuters said, noting that the 7.7% breakup cash agreement is already high. On Wednesday, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson met with the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the acquisition. AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued that there’s already plenty of competition in the U.S. wireless market and that the deal will actually create jobs. Similarly, the Communications Workers of America backs the deal and believes it will be a “victory for broadband proponents. AT&T’s competition isn’t so sure. Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” and the carrier believes it would create a “vertically integrated duopoly.” Verizon has kept to itself, but did note that, if confirmed, the deal could be “an excuse for the government to insert itself into the marketplace.” More →
Looking to assuage the previously expressed concerns of some lawmakers, Chinese telecom juggernaut Huawei is asking for a formal U.S. government investigation into its businesses. Huawei is looking to sell its equipment to United States companies, but has been met by heavy political headwinds. Our company is asking for this investigation ”in an effort to reach a clear and accurate conclusion,” writes Huawei.
“Efforts to do business in the United States in the past 10 years had been hurt by misperceptions,” reports Reuters. This includes “unproven claims of ‘close connections with the Chinese military.’”
Huawei made the request this week via an open letter on its website. The coalition of lawmakers who have opposed the company’s entrance into the U.S. market place have yet to issue a statement. More →