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AT&T–T-Mobile Fans Disappointed in DOJ

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Backers of the AT&T–T-Mobile merger are expressing their displeasure with the Justice Department's decision to file an antitrust suit against the proposed $39 billion deal.

Among those is Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who said he was "disappointed" in the move. "The Senate Antitrust Subcommittee [of which he is a member] received significant evidence that the transaction could benefit consumers through enhanced service quality, expanded network capacity, increased data speeds and continued innovation of data-rich handset devices and applications," said Lee in a statement.

"Along with many others, I was surprised to hear the news that the Department of Justice had filed against AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile," said Debra Berlyn, director of the Consumer Awareness Project. "While I respect the Department of Justice's review and cannot speak to antitrust statutes, I continue to believe that the merger would result in benefits to consumers."

"The Department of Justice decision today is contrary to this Administration's commitments to grow the economy, create jobs and expand broadband deployment," said Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) Senior Advisor Broderick Johnson.  "Next week, President Obama is expected to unveil a wide ranging pro-jobs plan. Approval of this merger is consistent with that critical message." IIA's members include AT&T.

"[This Administration] certainly has no business stepping in to block a merger that is clearly in the best interest of the nation's economic growth generally -- and the consumers and future, new employees of the companies who will benefit specifically and directly," said Seton Motley, president of Less Government. "If this Administration truly wants the private sector to again start hiring, they need to stop actively working to oppose any and all efforts by the private sector to actually do so."