States Line Up Against AT&T's T-Mobile Acquisition - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
9/18/2011
11:10 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
50%
50%

States Line Up Against AT&T's T-Mobile Acquisition

Seven attorneys general join Justice Department in opposing the acquisition.

Opposition to the proposed purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T got a bit larger on Friday as the attorneys general of seven states voiced their support for the suit filed by the Department of Justice. The seven states are New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington.

AT&T spokesperson Michael Balmoris has told Tech Crunch "it is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings." Basically the nation's second largest carrier is putting on a brave front in the face of increasing opposition.

The amended complaint will complicate this deal even further, which isn't good for AT&T at all. After the DOJ's filing, experts gave the deal a less than 25% chance of consummating. That number just got worse. Before the states piled on, the negotiations were to be among AT&T, T-Mobile, and the DOJ. Now there are seven additional cast members that have to be dealt with. Several of the states, most notably California, are known for very pro-consumer laws. Since the crux of the complaint is about the deal being worse for consumers, those states will be harder to satisfy than the federal government will be.

Some want the executive branch to step in. Fifteen Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives want President Obama to put pressure on the DOJ to settle. FierceWireless said: "The lawmakers said the deal will lead to job creation as the networks are merged and upgraded, and it will also lead to expanded [Long-Term Evolution] access, which will foster more jobs."

It seems they took all of AT&T's arguments in favor of the proposed transaction at face value. Don't think for a second there isn't some 2012 campaigning going on. Anything that promises more jobs will be supported by politicians right now, especially Democrats, who have the most to lose next year.

On Wednesday, AT&T and the DOJ, potentially with seven states in tow, will appear in U.S. district court to discuss issues that could lead to a settlement. Expect AT&T to make huge concessions. If they stick to their guns on this, the case will drag on for months, further increasing the risk of being outright blocked.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Slideshows
Flash Poll