“This proposed merger would stifle competition in markets that are crucial to New York’s consumers and businesses, while reducing access to low-cost options and the newest broadband-based technologies.”
So sayeth New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is joined by the attorneys general of six other states in support of the Department of Justice suit that sought to halt the pending AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
And so the AT&T/T-Mobile craziness continues.
The states that have come out in favor of the DoJ suit are New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. Even when facing mounting opposition, AT&T seems rather nonplussed about the whole situation. AT&T spokesperson Michael Balmoris has stated that “it is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings.” Translation:
it’s not a big deal they’re not very worried about it.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that AT&T can count on the support of 11 states who have publicly endorsed the deal. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming have all thrown their support behind AT&T and T-Mobile, presumably because they stand to benefit from increased wireless build-out and more jobs.
The merger also received a spirited defense yesterday by a small contingent of 15 House Democrats (nearly all of whom received campaign contributions from AT&T), who encouraged President Obama to settle in favor of the deal. For the truly curious, only Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky overlap between the list of states that support the merger, and the states whom those 15 Democrats represent.
After all this, AT&T has a only few more obstacles to face when the case goes to trial. Not an impossible task, according to Reuters: it just means AT&T needs to convince a few more people before a settlement can be reached.