Defending against the Justice Department's attempt to block its plans, AT&T wrote in court filings on Friday that the pending T-Mobile merger is a boon for consumers, who would experience better output, fewer dropped calls, and lower prices if the deal is allowed to go through.
The company further asserted that the Department's focus on preventing the reemergence of the Twin Bells has blinded regulators to the realities of the wireless industry, including the extent of actual competition, and surging consumer demand.
To highlight these inaccuracies, AT&T explained that T-Mobile has actually been losing customers, which contradicts Justice's argument that the company is a "unique lower-cost competitor," reports the Washington Post.
The filing goes on to argue that the T-Mobile merger is beneficial to both companies and consumers.
In May, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm told a Senate Committee that the company would not survive without AT&T, and according to PC Magazine, AT&T believes that T-Mobile is the answer to the spectrum crunch, and will allow it to address current capacity constraints.
If AT&T is unable to acquire the additional spectrum, it will be unable to meet consumer demand for faster service, potentially setting back innovation and infrastructure growth.
Even in the face of these possible benefits, the Federal Communications Commission, which must evaluate the merger with concern for the public interest, also appears to be skeptical of the acquisition and the creation of a wireless duopoly.
But as such previous instances of great opposition show, it's still likely that the T-Mobile merger will be approved--along with a number of caveats intended to limit AT&T's dominance.
- AT&T: DOJ's opposition to merger hurts consumers (Computerworld)
- Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit to Stop AT&T, T-Mobile Merger (FindLaw's Courtside)
- DoJ Is Putting the Teeth Back in Antitrust (FindLaw's In House)