Today, the United States Department of Justice seeks to block an AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile, a $39B deal, due to antitrust concerns. The DOJ complaint cited the resultant damage of the removal of T-Mobile from the competitive marketplace to be the crux of the matter. AT&T stands next to its claim that the acquisition of T-Mobile is necessary in order to facilitate the expansion and improved quality of it's 4G LTE network. AT&T responded to the suit today and indicated surprise as this suit was not anticipated following preliminary communnications with the DOJ prior to moving forward with the deals. AT&T also noted their intention to expedite and contest the matter in court, "We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court."

FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, responded today saying, “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. Competition is an essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on competition. 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."

Sprint's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Vonya B. McCann responded in part, "The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country."

While this is a monumental case with significant implications no matter which direction it goes, it will be particularly interesting to see how things unfold as we watch 4G technologies Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax continue to grow. With rumors in the past few weeks that Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Brighthouse Networks are in talks with Sprint to raise the $600M required to help Clearwire convert its existing WiMax network to LTE. The WiMax/LTE decision has still not been made, but things are looking good for LTE at the moment. Both the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile and Sprints continued talks with Clearwire and its investors will have a significant impact on the future of wireless voice and data in the United States.

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David Pastore

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  1. Sir Richard BransonAugust 31, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    If T-Mobile gets acquired, will that ravishing girl be free? Can I have her?