AT&T/T-Mobile merger to get Senate hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile next month to examine the deal's potential impact on the telecom market.

The hearing will be held by the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee on May 11 and will be headed by Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl. According to the hearing notice on the Judiciary Committee website, the hearing will ask whether the proposed merger would be the equivalent of "Humpty Dumpty being put back together again," a clear allusion to fears that a merger would signal the reconstitution of the old "Ma Bell" AT&T monopoly that the government formally broke up in 1982. The committee has not announced any scheduled speakers or witnesses for the hearing at this time.

HISTORY: Department of Justice vs. AT&T

Many critics have contended that an AT&T-T-Mobile merger would at the very least lead to the emergence of a duopolistic wireless telecom market controlled largely by Verizon and AT&T. Opposition to the proposed merger has united both consumer advocacy groups such as the Consumers Union and rival wireless carriers such as Sprint. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse argued that the newly merged wireless company would have "tremendous" power over the wireless market and would be bad for consumers.

"If you take a look at the market power of the big two, in postpaid, which is contracts, the way most users think of the business, in 2005 the big two had 52 per cent market share," Hesse told CNBC's Jim Cramer. "They've expanded that now with acquisitions in the last few years, up to 67 per cent. If this transaction goes through you're talking 79 per cent, or roughly 80 per cent of the market controlled by two companies. I think that's a little too much -- too much concentration.

If AT&T's T-Mobile acquisition gets approved, it will be the fourth major wireless carrier merger in eight years, following AT&T-Cingular in 2004, Sprint-Nextel in 2005, and Verizon-Alltel in 2008. AT&T would also become by far the largest wireless carrier in the United States with more than 130 million subscribers.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesMergers / acquisitionsat&tregulationservice providersgovernmentT-Mobile USALAN & WAN

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?