Speaking during a recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Verizon’s Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam said he expects AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA to be approved by government regulators. “I’d say the merger will probably go through,” McAdam said. “It’s a merger AT&T probably had to do.” While other carriers such as Sprint have been vocal in their opposition of the deal, Verizon has remained relatively quiet. According to Reuters, McAdam said he was surprised AT&T hadn’t purchased T-Mobile sooner and that the deal “makes sense.” On Wednesday, Senate Antitrust Subcommitee chairman Herb Kohl called on the FCC and the Justice Department to block the merger and said the deal would be “contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest.” AT&T quickly shot down Kohl’s statement and said Kohl ignored “the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction.” Among those supporters is Senator Mike Lee, who argued that 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.” More →
Earlier on Wednesday, the Senate Subcommittee chairman Senator Herb Kohl urged federal regulators to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. On Wednesday afternoon, AT&T responded to Senator Kohl’s recommendation with the following statement:
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.
Despite opposition from Kohl and others, AT&T said that there are currently 26 governors, 76 democratic members of congress, 72 mayors, and unions that represent 20 million members that are in favor of the merger and argue that it will be good for consumers, provide jobs, and help the economy. In addition, Senator Mike Lee also made a statement today in support of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. “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,” Lee said. “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.” Lee also said that he’s confident the FCC and Department of Justice will ensure that the U.S. wireless market remains competitive. More →
Google’s chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, Reuters reported on Monday. On June 24th, Google announced that the Federal Trade Commission would be reviewing its business practices. The search giant said it was “still unclear” as to what the FTC’s concerns were but that it would cooperate fully with the investigation. Watchdog groups such as Fairsearch.org have repeatedly accused Google of eangaging in anti-competitive behavior. “I look forward to discussing a number of important issues relating to Google and Internet search competition,” Senator Mike Lee, the lead Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s anti-trust subcommittee said. More →