Most Read: Business

 Last Update: : AM 01/31/2015(NASDAQ&DJIA) |

World Markets from      


Other Market Data from      


Key Rates from      


Blog Contributors

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
About / Where's Post I.T.?   |    Twitter  |   On Facebook  |  RSS RSS Feed  |  E-Mail Cecilia
Posted at 03:27 PM ET, 06/21/2011

AT&T says merger on track for March 2012 approval

AT&T says it’s still on track to get its merger with T-Mobile approved by March 2012, even as state utilities, business partners and consumer interest groups express concern about the deal.

In a meeting with reporters in Washington, AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said the company has provided a second round of information requested by the Justice Department. He said meetings with the Federal Communications Commission are also going as scheduled.

“The number one question I get from investors is can we get (the deal) done,” Watt said. “I think we can.”

He rejected arguments that merger approval should include a stipulation that AT&T stop exclusive contracts with handset makers. It’s two-year exclusive contract with Apple was the main reason behind its smartphone success, the company has said.

Sprint Nextel and regional carriers have argued that the practice has prevented them from attracting customers as quickly as AT&T and Verizon, which also has a deal to carry the iPhone.

But Watts, who has worked on more than a dozen mergers involving AT&T in about three decades, said there is plenty of handset competition.

In recent weeks, resistance to the merger has grown.

The California Public Utilities Commission hasn’t opposed the deal outright, but has decided to conduct a rare investigation of the transaction’s affect on consumers.

New York’s attorney general is investigating the deal and last week the the state’s Public Service Commission said in comments to the FCC that the merger failed to pass two tests to ensure it would result in adequate wireless industry competition.

“Both the market concentration and spectrum aggregation screening tools indicate the proposed merger may have anticompetitive impacts, and that these anticompetitive impacts will be felt, in particular, in New York State,” the commission wrote. “Therefore, the FCC should carefully scrutinize the potential impacts of the proposed merger on New York State’s wireless voice and broadband markets.”

AT&T and T-Mobile have also received support for their deal.

Facebook Microsoft and Silverlake Partners say the deal helps their businesses because it would bring more robust networks to more consumers. More than 20 governors have written the FCC in support.

Arizona’s public utitilities commission scrutinized the deal and voted in approval.

Related story:

AT&T ramps up lobbying ahead of merger review

By  |  03:27 PM ET, 06/21/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company