Feds sue to block AT&T/T-Mobile merger

FCC member Michael Copps, a Democrat and a staunch opponent of industry consolidation, said that he shares “the concerns about competition and … numerous other concerns about the public interest effects of the proposed transaction, including consumer choice and innovation.”

Sen. Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Democrat, who heads the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights, said the suit was an effort to protect consumers “in a powerful and growing industry that reaches virtually every American.”

The suit used some of T-Mobile’s own documents describing its role in the market to explain why the merger shouldn’t take place. In those documents, the company calls itself “the No. 1 challenger of the established big guys in the market and as well positioned in a consolidated 4-player national market.”

T-Mobile said its strategy is to attack other companies and find innovative ways to overcome the fact that it is a smaller company.

T-Mobile “will be faster, more agile and scrappy, with diligence on decisions and costs both big and small,” one company document said. “Our approach to market will not be conventional, and we will push to the boundaries where possible.”

The suit also says the anti-competitive problems a merger would cause cannot be overcome by regional companies.

Regional companies lack national networks, so they are limited in their ability to compete with the four national carriers, the lawsuit states.

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