The proposed $39 billion merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which the Department of Justice has sued to block, and which has invited a lawsuit from rival telecommunications provider Sprint, has received a shot in the arm from an unlikely source: the CEO of Verizon.
Sharis A. Pozen, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, had claimed that “unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer.” But Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam considers the merger a “match” that “had to occur.” Contrary to the position taken by the Justice Department, McAdam has “taken the position that the AT&T merger with T-Mobile was kind of like gravity. It had to occur, because you had a company with a T-Mobile that had the spectrum but didn’t have the capital to build it out. AT&T needed the spectrum, they didn’t have it in order to take care of their customers, and so that match had to occur.” Tech blog BGR reports that:
the CEO continued, noting that he has told the Federal Communications Commission and other government officials that blocking AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile without providing a solution to the current spectrum crunch will ultimately harm American consumers.
AT&T intends to fight the DOJ lawsuit.