Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Anti Trust Me, Guys

From Boy Genius Report:

AT&T said Thursday that it has withdrawn its application from the Federal Communications Commission to acquire T-Mobile USA.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom said they will instead focus on fighting an antitrust lawsuit brought against the proposed $39 billion merger by the Department of Justice. AT&T made the announcement Thursday following the FCC’s decision earlier this week to hold an administrative hearing regarding the purchase.

If you’ll recall, the Department of Justice gave a statement about the proposed merger back in August. As part of that statement, the Deputy Attorney General James Cole said:

The combination of AT&T; and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services.

So, uh, I guess the feds use Verizon?

Seriously, though, more competition is better for us consumers. AT&T; doesn’t compete with Verizon; remember when they raised prices together and had to tell the Senate why they weren’t colluding? Remember when they both instituted data caps within months of each other? If those two aren’t going to compete with each other, that’s bad enough. Imagine if they were just allowed to buy out their competition.

AT&T’s still pushing forward with the merger, but they’re clearly convinced that the FCC’s approval under telecomm laws is less tricky than getting the DOJ to not sue them for anticompetitive practices. Like removing competitors from the market is really anticompetitive. (Hint: it is.) (Hint #2: this deal is never happening.)