CU praises Sen. Kohl’s call for federal regulators to block AT&T/T-Mobile merger

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July 20, 2011

Consumers Union praises Sen. Kohl’s call for federal regulators to block AT&T/T-Mobile merger

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, today praised U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s call for federal regulators to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.

In a letter to the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, Sen. Kohl, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, said, “An acquisition which would decrease the number of national competitors from four to three in an already highly concentrated market, and one that eliminates the low price competitor from this market, is in my view highly dangerous to competition and consumers.”

Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “Chairman Kohl’s letter spells out precisely how this merger could hurt consumers and why regulators should block it. The letter clearly shows how the deal would harm competition, and it confirms that AT&T’s claim that it needs this merger to serve rural areas doesn’t hold water. This is a powerful rebuttal to AT&T’s arguments, and we hope regulators will pay close attention and ultimately reject this deal.”

Sen. Kohl’s letter cited the recent price analysis of wireless plans by Consumer Reports, which found T-Mobile’s wireless plans typically cost $15 to $50 per month less than comparable plans offered by AT&T.

Contact: David Butler, 202-462-6262