The AT&Terminator: Rise of Ma Bell
And it’s a victory for America. As AT&T observed in its press release announcing the acquisition, the deal “makes T-Mobile USA, currently a German-owned US telecom network, part of a US-based company.” Such morally admirable altruism and patriotism. But few, it seems, are buying it.
On Sunday afternoon Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, urged “both the Department of Justice and the FCC leave no stone unturned in determining what the impact of this combination is on the American people.” A few hours later, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), chairman of the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee, promised a hearing on the deal.
“The explosion of cell phone usage – especially smartphones – makes competition in this market more important than ever as a check on prices, consumer choice, and service,” Kohl said in a statement. “That’s why the Antitrust Subcommittee will take a close look at what this loss of competition will mean for people who increasingly rely on wireless phone service to connect to friends, family and the Internet.”