It will take awhile for a federal judge to rule on the feds lawsuit, attempting to block AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile USA.
In the meantime, the companies involved are duking it out with press releases. Here are the dueling statements issued today.
AT&T issued a statement of surprise and disappointment, attributed to Wayne Watts, senior executive vice president and general counsel:
We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.
We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.
At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision and the facts are clear. This merger will:
— Help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.
— Allow AT&T to expand 4G mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;
— Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.
We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court.
Sprint’s statement calls it a win, even before the feds’ lawsuit is resolved. It’s attributed to Vonya B. McCann, senior vice president of government affairs:
“The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers’ interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision — one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.”
AT&T followed up by passing along a statement of outrage from the Communications Workers of America, which represent workers at AT&T but not T-Mobile:
The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to seek to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA is simply wrong.
In today’s sinking economy, where millions of Americans are looking for work, the DOJ has filed suit to block a merger that will create as many as 96,000 quality jobs. In the U.S., where too many Americans, especially in rural areas, don’t have access to the tools of Internet technology, the DOJ is looking to block a plan to build out high speed wireless access to 97 percent of the country should be opposed.
In a nation where workers’ rights are routinely violated, as occurs every day at T-Mobile, the DOJ apparently believes that workers should be on their own instead of having a fair choice about union representation.
More will come later today. A group of consumer organizations are gearing up for a teleconference where they’ll speak out in favor of the feds’ move.