US Senators have claimed that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile could have serious implications for the US communications market.
The lawmakers believe that the acquisition will harm competition by consolidating the US telecom market, Bloomberg reports.
The argument was made by Democrat Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, who is the head of a Senate Judiciary anti-trust subcommittee.
The senator said during a hearing in Washington that if the deal was approved it might lead to rising prices. He also claimed that the deal puts the mobile phone market ‘in danger of reverting to a duopoly in this century’.
Despite the concerns raised by the senator, the power to approve the merger lies with the US Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.
AT&T remains confident that the government will approve the merger, provided that AT&T adheres to the conditions set by it. AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson believes that the government will take a year to approve the merger.
“If we look at this on facts -- what are the facts and what does the data tell us about this particular transaction -- we feel confident this transaction will be approved. We’ve done a number of these transactions, large and small. In each transaction there have been concessions, where we’ve agreed to divest certain assets,” said Stephenson.