NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The U.S. Department of Justice has moved to block the proposed $39 billion dollar merger between telecom giants AT&T and T-Mobile, citing antrtrust concerns.
In an August 31st press conference, DOJ deputy attorney general James M. Cole stated that DOJ believed that the merger would impede competition within the industry, diminishing price, quality, and innovation. Presently, just four companies comprise 90% of the domestic U.S. wireless market, including both AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as Sprint and Verizon. Cole argued that reducing that number to three would harm not only customers, but the industry as well.
"We all reap the benefits of this incredible technology because there has been fierce competition in this industry, which has brought all of us innovative and affordable products and services," said Cole. "In order
to ensure that competition remains and that everyone–including consumers, businesses, and the government–continues to receive high quality, competitively priced mobile wireless products and services, the Department of Justice today filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile."
According to Information Week, the proposed merger has met with opposition from other quarters as well, including a effort by a New York-based law firm to put the kibosh on the deal by bringing arbitration cases on behalf of AT&T's customers.
AT&T long held a monopoly over telecommunications in the U.S. but was broken up into regional Bell operating companies 1984 after a successful Federal anti-trust suit. Since then AT&T has slowly re-acquired many of its old spun-off "baby bell" companies, including through a merger with SBC, which was composed of Southwestern Bell, Pacific Telesis, and Ameritech. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers