- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reactions to the Justice Department’s decision to file a lawsuit in an effort to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA:

“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. We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive (effects) and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.”

_ Wayne Watts, AT&T’s general counsel

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“By filing suit today, the Department of Justice has concluded that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen competition in violation of the antitrust laws. … Vibrant competition in wireless services is vital to innovation, investment, economic growth and job creation, and to drive our global leadership in mobile. Competition fosters consumer benefits, including more choices, better service and lower prices.”

_ Julius Genachowski, chairman of Federal Communications Commission

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“Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision _ one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy and encourage innovation.”

_ Vonya McCann, Sprint Nextel Corp.’s senior vice president of government affairs

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“The Justice Department’s decision to take action to block AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile is a victory for competition, consumers and choice. We should be protecting American consumers holding their cellphones, not just telecommunications titans holding stock in the companies.”

_ Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

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“Consumers are already struggling in this economy with high bills, with high cellphone bills and we’re pleased that the Department of Justice found (that) if this merger were to go forward, it would be harmful to competition and ultimately to consumers.”

_ Parul Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union