While Senator Herb Kohl has already come out in opposition of the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile takeover, his colleague Senator Al Franken has now responded in his own 24-page letter to the Justice Department and FCC.
“The merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would be a major step towards the creation of an entrenched duopoly in the wireless industry,” Franken writes in a 24-page letter to the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. “It would concentrate enormous power over the entire telecommunications sector in the hands of only two companies, and it would incentivize AT&T and Verizon to coordinate prices to the detriment of consumers.”
Furthermore Senator Franken says that the emphasis in the wireless industry right now should be innovation through competition and not buying up innovation through mergers:
“American consumers rely on the DOJ and the FCC to protect competition,” Franken writes. “It is only through competition that wireless spectrum usage will become more efficient, handsets more innovative, customer service more responsive, network coverage broader, and prices lower.”
T-Mobile reacted in their own right to respond to the Senator from Minnesota’s comments:
“While we respect Senator Franken, his analysis of our pending transaction is just wrong,” T-Mobile said in a note to the press. “The combination of T-Mobile and AT&T should be approved because it will deliver what consumers are looking for in the age of smart phones, tablets and mobile internet – speed, service quality and reduced costs. As is documented in our government filings, the combination of our two networks creates significant efficiencies that will trigger strong benefits for consumers. We are confident that a thorough review of the record will demonstrate the transaction advances the public interest.”