DOJ Sues to Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Consumers Union Statement

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Consumers Union – Publisher of Consumer Reports

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DOJ Sues to Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Consumers Union Statement

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit aiming to block the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. The complaint points to substantial concerns regarding marketplace competition and the elimination of T-Mobile as a low-cost option.

Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said “This announcement is something for consumers to celebrate. We have consistently warned that eliminating T-Mobile as a low-cost option will raise prices, lower choices, and turn the cellular market into a duopoly controlled by AT&T and Verizon. The lawsuit filed by DOJ today proves that it has serious concerns and believes the best way to protect millions of consumers nationwide is by blocking the merger. We will continue to work with policy makers to ensure competition remains strong and in the best interest of consumers.”

A recent price analysis survey of the voice and data plans available from AT&T and T-Mobile released by Consumers Union demonstrates that T-Mobile wireless plans typically cost $15 to $50 less per month than comparable plans from AT&T. In addition, the most recent cell-phone satisfaction survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that AT&T got lower marks than T-Mobile on almost every attribute rated, suggesting the proposed merger would be a setback to T-Mobile customers if it lead to service more resembling AT&T’s than T-Mobile’s.

 Contact: Kara Kelber, 202-462-6262 or kkelber@consumer.org