The Department of Justice today filed a civil antitrust lawsuit
to block the merging of AT&T and T-Mobile. The DOJ asserts that the
deal could reduce competition, resulting in higher prices, lower
quality networks, and "fewer innovative products for the millions of
American consumers who rely on mobile wireless services in their
The following statement can be attributed to Larry Downes, Senior Adjunct Fellow of TechFreedom, regarding this lawsuit:
The Justice Department's decision is surprising and
disappointing. The Department's sensible merger guidelines, had they
been applied, would have found the deal a great benefit to consumers at
the local level, where mobile services are bought and used. The
Department has instead untethered itself from rational analysis,
inviting more delay and the potential to interrupt the mobile
revolution, one of the few bright spots in the economy. Those hoping for
real competition in the critical 4G LTE market will have to wait.
The following statement can be attributed to Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom:
The DOJ has missed the forest for the trees. Neither company has
the spectrum to offer a viable 4G LTE service. Only by combining their
spectrum can the two companies compete effectively with Verizon's LTE
service. Such services could also compete with traditional ISPs who
provide home broadband access.
The real problem here is outdated central planning of spectrum.
This merger was in part an attempt to overcome government mismanagement
of the most vital resource of the digital economy. By blocking the deal,
the DOJ is compounding harmful government meddling in the digital
Thus, ironically, in the name of protecting consumers, the DOJ
ultimately will deny them meaningful choices in high-speed mobile
Szoka is available for comment at email@example.com.
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