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On May 11th, the AT&T / T-Mobile acquisition deal fight begins with an appearance before Senate lawmakers to argue both for and against the deal. As expected, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and T-Mobile USA CEO Philip Humm will appear before the Senate committee to argue in favor of the merger. As expected a main point of their argument will be that a combined company will be able to provide broadband access to more more rural customers than two companies would be able to do individually.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and regional carrier Cellular South’s CEO Hu Mena will appear before the committee to tell their side of the story. Arguing that a combined company will lead to higher prices for consumers as a report last month by Consumers Union showed that on average, T-Mobile customers paid $50 less than AT&T smartphone customers.
Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin called the first hearing in what is expected to a lengthy string of congressional hearings. While lawmakers don’t have the final say in the approval or non-approval of the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, their influence on agencies isn’t likely to be ignored.
Also appearing before the committee is Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn and Communication Workers of America CEO Larry Cohen. The CWA supports the deal as it expects to fill its rank with T-Mobile employees who cross over to AT&T after the deal is finalized.