Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

Summary: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today the Justice Dept. was "ready and eager" to go to court to prevent the merging of AT&T and T-Mobile.

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The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust unit will fight in court to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers.

Speaking in reply to a question posed by Senator Herb Kohl, chair of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, Holder acknowledged he was 'recused' in the case, but asked whether the Justice Dept. would be in it "for the long haul".

Holder said: "People in the antitrust division are committed to seeing this through", adding that a trial team is "ready and eager to go to court", reports Reuters.

In August, the Justice Dept. stepped in by beginning legal proceedings against AT&T, in a bid to prevent the $39 billion merger from going ahead, which would make AT&T the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

While the Justice Dept. argues that the merging of AT&T and T-Mobile would "hurt competition" and raise prices for consumers, AT&T denies these claims.

Verizon, currently holding the market lead, followed by Sprint in third place, are both also suing to stop the deal from going ahead.

But AT&T is fighting back, desperate to in its T-Mobile opponent to propel itself into the top spot. The wireless giant argues that it will give back more to the U.S. in terms of infrastructure and greater consumer service.

CNET also reports that the merger will create around 100,000 jobs for the U.S. economy, according to the Communications Workers of America.

AT&T has portrayed its acquisition of T-Mobile as a way of boosting next-generation 4G services across the country. But with the two companies controlling around 80 percent of the post-paid wireless market, the Justice Dept. naturally shows concern.

Deutsche Telekom, the German-owner of T-Mobile USA, is as reported yesterday requires a 'Plan B' in case the deal does fall through from legal action. Third-quarter results on Thursday will focus on the future of T-Mobile, in particular in the U.S. market, and whether or not the sell-off is even a viable option for the parent company.

The Justice Dept. case is due to go to trial on February 13th.

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Security, AT&T

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14 comments
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  • Oh, save us indeed

    I think the Justice Department should first make sure that the Mexican drug cartels don't merge with the Mexican government. They could start by making sure they aren't sending any more guns to the cartels.

    When people stop dying, they can worry about saving the T-Mobile chime.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

      @Robert Hahn No need to merge. They are the one and the same.
      sackbut
  • Your anti-business, anti-Liberty Marxist administration at work...

    [Eric Holder said today the Justice Dept. was ???ready and eager??? to go to court to prevent the merging of AT&T and T-Mobile.]

    This admin is eager to sue ANY business they can. Except, of course, the ones they are personally invested in...those carbon-credit trading companies, those subsidized "green energy" companies like Solyndra, etc. Those get the go-ahead, of course...plus your tax dollars.
    Techboy_z
  • And I don't Hear It time and again...

    Unless something earthshaking comes in the near-term, TMo is going to be going b-bye.
    What is the long term sustainability solution for TMo that the Justice Dept has up its sleeve?

    Oh Wait!!! They (Justice) don't have one.

    Then I can guess ATT can get the band-width allocation via bid when the courts oversee the dismantling of TMo as it goes under.
    rhonin
  • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

    Has there ever been merger where the number of jobs went up as ATT claims, do do the number of jobs go down? No?

    I thought so.
    sackbut
    • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

      @sackbut

      I have never seem a merger create jobs, only loose jobs. Like HP & Compaq, they merged and that was a disaster, plus a lot of jobs lost.

      Most of the time jobs are killed off during the merger process to recouperate part or most of the cost of doing the merger.

      Plus, not to mention, i wouldn't want a bad cell phone company to buyout and merge with another bad cell phone company. Nothing personal, but i'm not crazy about AT&T service because they stink, and the only thing i like about T-Mobile is that cute girl.

      I like Verizon and Sprint over those guys, mostly because they have good networks, Verizon more so then Sprint. But in the long run, their customer service is sub-par to AT&T, but AT&T cell phone service is sub-par to Verizon and Sprint
      ajapierce
  • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

    I think Holder is eager to do anything that will hide him from the spotlights of "Fast and Furious". Going to court against AT&T means he's not available to testify in his own defense or answer questions about his lies about letting guns get sold to Mexican drug dealers.

    As an AT&T customer, I would be OK with the merger with TMo; we get no Verizon reception at the house and I agree with the cursomer above - the TMo girl is cute :-)
    SoccerDad#2
    • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

      @SoccerDad#2
      Knowledge Update: Fast and furious was put into place under Mr Bush and attorney General Gonzales.
      eargasm
      • The criminality within Fast and Furious occurred under Holder and Obama,

        and, though the program might have started under the previous administration, the agents killed and the coverups, all occurred under the current administration.
        adornoe
    • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

      @SoccerDad#2 TM is terrible but I don't know many consumers opposed to it, though personally I've not been an ATT fan either, they have their mass of subscribers. TM has already begun to close stores, so I'd say they are going to merge with somebody no matter what, and the list of suitors is few. but might as well be someone with complementary wireless technology (i.e not Sprint or Verizon).

      I just don't understand why ATT finds the need to charge $20/mo for text messaging. if Holder wants to go after something, look into that. only way around this is get a family plan or go prepaid.
      bri719
  • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

    Zach -- I find your columns difficult to read, because they are so poorly written. Please have someone edit them or, at the least, take more time to write them.
    ShowMeGrrl
  • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

    [i]CNET also reports that the merger will create around 100,000 jobs for the U.S. economy, according to the Communications Workers of America.[/i] <br><br>That has to be one of the most ridiculous claims imaginable. If anything, 100,000 jobs will be lost due to layoffs over redundancy and job overlap.<br><br>If anybody believes what the CWA says in it's studies then they need to get their heads examined.
    ScorpioBlue
    • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

      @ScorpioBlue makes you wonder what kind of bribe this union took to make such an outlandish statement. or maybe they're simply relying on the powers of omission to deceive, as so many often do: that it will create 100,000 more UNION jobs - while killing at least 150,000 - 200,000 NON-union jobs.
      bri719
  • RE: Justice Dept. 'eager' to take AT&T to court, preventing T-Mobile merger

    I don't believe T-Mobile is failing, or that the proposed merger with ATT is beneficial to the market or customers, or that the number of jobs will increase. So I'm for stopping the merger.
    Elwood Diverse