7 States take up arms against AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 24
On our sister-site, WPCentral, we've found more news regarding the curious merger between Ma Bell and T-Mobile that has been in limbo for nearly a year now. California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington have all joined forces to declare this acquisition a detriment to businesses and consumers that have already been established in their respective regions. As New York's Attorney General, Eric T. Schneidermen has said, "This proposed merger would stifle competition in markets that are crucial to New York's consumers and businesses, while reducing access to low-cost options and the newest broadband-based technologies."
If the Department of Justice, these seven states and companies like Sprint and Verizon all have their way, you can say goodbye to any AT&T branded webOS devices working on T-Mobile's larger 4G network anytime in the future. Of course, that's assuming any new webOS devices will be released in the future - as of right now, there are only a few HP smartphones that work with AT&T's network, including the AT&T Pre3 that will not likely see much daylight in the US.
AT&T has responded to their new plaintiffs with the following statement:
It is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings. At the same time, we appreciate that 11 state attorneys general and hundreds of other local, state and federal officials are publicly supportive of our merger. We will continue to seek an expedited hearing on the DOJ’s complaint. On a parallel path, we have been and remain interested in a solution that addresses the DOJ’s issues with the T-Mobile merger.
We remain confident that we’ll reach a successful conclusion and look forward to delivering the merger benefits of additional wireless network capacity to improve customer service, expanded LTE deployment to 55 million more Americans, $8 billion in additional investment, and a commitment to bring 5,000 wireless call center jobs back to the United States.
The next step in this long process is to set the date for the trials to begin, and even in this simple matter the two parties cannot agree. The initial hearing to decide on the date to being the trials is set for September 21st of this year, but while AT&T is looking to get started as early as January 16th, the Department of Justice will be pushing to move it all the way out to March 19th, 2012, further postponing the acquisition.
It'll be a long and bumpy road for AT&T if they ever get to pull this merger off, but there's still hope that it can happen. There's always still hope.