Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Key Senator Weighs in Against AT&T + T-Mobile Merger

Citing "substantial harm to competition and consumers," U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, announced his opposition to the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T.

In an open, seven page letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Kohl argues that the mega-merger would not be in the public interest and that it violates antitrust laws. Kohl's top concern is market concentration -- if the merger goes through, AT&T and Verizon Wireless would hold the vast majority of the subscribers, as well as control over the backhaul infrastructure needed by competitors entering the market.

In addition, Senator Kohl said he is not persuaded by the argument that T-Mobile lacks spectrum for 4G services, or that the merger would significantly improve access in rural areas.

Finally, he states that the merger would reverse the historic triumph three decades ago of breaking up the Bell System monopoly.http://kohl.senate.gov/ATT-TM%20LT%20to%20DOJ%20and%20FCC.pdf

See also