What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

Anti-trust concerns end AT&T/T-Mobile merger

Mitchell Hartman Dec 20, 2011

Jeremy Hobson: AT&T is dropping its proposal to buy rival T-Mobile in what would have been a $39 billion deal. The government was opposed to the deal because of anti-trust concerns.

Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.

Mitchell Hartman: Opponents of the deal said combining the country’s number two and number four cellphone carriers would reduce customer choice and raise monthly bills.

Here’s Democratic Senator Al Franken.

Senator Al Franken: The merger would take us one more step–or just one step away–from the monopoly market that we had under Ma Bell. It took the Department of Justice more than 35 years before they eventually broke up Ma Bell.

But it just took the Justice Department filing suit for AT&T to get the message and back out. Maggie Reardon of CNET.

Maggie Reardon: Regulators looked at this and said, it’s just too much concentration in the market. And you’re not only getting more spectrum, which is what AT&T wanted, but what was happening here is that they were eliminating a competitor.

But to stay competitive with number one Verizon, AT&T still needs to upgrade its network so it can fix slow downloads and dropped calls.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.