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US DOJ won't give reasons for AT&T/T-Mobile challenge

updated 01:25 pm EDT, Wed September 21, 2011

DoJ claims information would hamper case

The US Justice Department will not reveal to US lawmakers why it has chosen to challenge AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile. According to a Tuesday report, the Justice Department sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Chairman, Fred Upton, on Monday that stated it couldn't reveal information regarding live litigation that's not public. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit at the end of August to block the buyout as it would raise prices and hamper both competition and innovation.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich expressed concerns in the letter that the public and courts would see sharing information with political and Congressional bodies would be seen as biasing legal decisions.

The Justice Department did weigh the pros and cons of the deal but argued that the benefits weren't enough to outweigh the negative impact of the deal. It concluded that AT&T could achieve the same benefits it states by investing into its existing network rather than eliminating a competitor.

The FCC also voiced concerns about the deal that would put AT&T in the number one national wireless carrier spot.

A trial date is expected sometime next year, with AT&T hoping for January 16 while the DOJ wants March 19.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    I know why the secrecy

    Mr. Whipple saw AT&T squeezing the Charmin.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    It's simply really...

    It's because a country with 320 million people really should have more than half a dozen competitors in any market segment. I wouldn't worry though, I seriously doubt that the Obama Justice Department truly means to block this. It is likely just being done for appearance sake in a cynical attempt to get the progressive base back onboard in time for the election.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Reasons?

    "as it would raise prices and hamper both competition and innovation."

    The additional information request is probably from the conservative Corporate money loving side of the isle.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    ok then

    lets split verizon up.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    re: ok then

    Can't. Splitting up a company is far harder to do than to stop two companies from merging. The former requires proving the company is working in a monopolistic manner. The latter has the simpler task of just checking to see whether such a move would help or hinder the people of the US as a whole, not just the country. Especially considering that the merger would affect licenses granted to the public airwaves.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    DOJ

    I'm no fan of the current DOJ by a long shot, particularly for Fast and Furious, which has armed Mexican drug cartels. But I also don't want my inexpensive T-Mobile service handed over the AT&T. But in my darker moments, I suspect that with some money passed into the right hands, Chicago style, this opposition will fade, fade away.

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