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.