WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The U.S. Justice Department filed suit in Washington to block a proposed AT&T merger with T-Mobile Wednesday, saying the combination would hurt customers.
At a press conference, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said “We all reap the benefits of this incredible technology,” referring to wireless telecommunications. However, he said, “we believe the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of customers across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for their mobile wireless services.”
To date, “consumers across the country, including those in rural areas and those with lower incomes, have benefited from competition among the nation’s wireless carriers,” Cole said.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen said the suit was filed after an “exhaustive investigation,”
She also cited T-Mobile’s previous track record as an innovator in the business, which could be derailed by a merger.
“For example, T-Mobile rolled out the first nationwide high-speed data network using advanced HSPA+ technology and the first handset using the Android operating system,” she said.
“Unless the merger is blocked, competition and innovation in the mobile wireless market in the form of low prices and innovative in the wireless handsets, operating systems, and calling plans, will be diminished — and consumers will suffer,” she said.