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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2011
3:30 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

Dave Saldana, 202-265-1490 x 32

House and Senate Leaders Question AT&T Takeover

WASHINGTON - July 20 - Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, today submitted a letter urging Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski to reject AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. Sen. Kohl wrote that he had “concluded that the acquisition, if permitted to proceed, would likely cause substantial harm to competition and consumers, would be contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest, and therefore should be blocked by your agencies.”

Sen. Kohl’s letter joins a growing chorus of opposition to the proposed merger. Today Representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) also submitted a letter stating that they believed AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile "would be a troubling backward step in federal public policy— a retrenchment from nearly two decades of promoting competition and open markets to acceptance of a duopoly in the wireless marketplace."

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"Senator Kohl's letter and recent statements from other leading members of Congress, including Reps. Markey, Eshoo, Conyers and Inslee, indicate that opposition to this unprecedented consolidation is growing. And it will only continue to grow as policymakers and the public learn how the facts contradict AT&T's pro-merger propaganda.

“The undeniable truth is that this merger would be a disaster for American consumers, competition and innovation. AT&T doesn't need to acquire T-Mobile to serve rural America or improve the quality of its service — it just needs to reinvest some of its enormous profits in improving and expanding its infrastructure. And as these members of Congress point out, this merger would kill competition in the wireless market, leading to higher prices for all wireless users, reduced investment and higher unemployment.

“We are pleased that leading voices in Congress are speaking out, and we hope others recognize what AT&T is really trying to do here: asking the government for handout instead of competing fairly in the free market. But in the end, politics shouldn't matter — if the Justice Department and FCC take an objective look at the evidence, they will have no choice but to reject this takeover outright.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net



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