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AT&T-T-mobile merger moves forward with status hearing

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Steve Chiotakis: There’s also what’s called
a “status hearing” in just a couple of hours at the U.S. Justice Department, looking at AT&T’s plan to gobble up wireless competitor T-Mobile. But there’s more than just a reception problem for the nation’s number 2 carrier.

Dana Frix is a partner at the law firm Chadbourne and Parke, and he’s with us from now from DC. Good morning, sir.

Dana Frix: Good morning.

Chiotakis: What is today’s hearing about? This is just a “status hearing,” what is a status hearing?

Frix: Well, the Department of Justice has filed a complaint. AT&T has filed an answer. Seven states have also filed a complaint, and Sprint has filed a complaint — all alleging that the transaction violates anti-trust laws. So at this point, there’s the natural process for the judge of melding these complaints together and figuring out a process by which the issues can be resolved over a long period of time. So in part, its a calendaring issue.

Chiotakis: What are AT&T’s options to allay concerns about this big merger?

Frix: Well, AT&T is going to offer up that it could elliminate spectrum in certain markets and customer bases in certain markets by selling the third party. That doesn’t seem to address the Department of Justice’s concerns, however.

Chiotakis: Dana Frix, partner over at Chadbourne and Parke. He’s with us from Washington, DC. Dana, thanks.

Frix: Thank you so much.

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