Today, Senator Mike Lee said the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile to create the largest wireless carrier in the country should be reviewed carefully to ensure the best outcome for consumers.
Lee, the Ranking Member on the Judiciary CommitteeвЂ™s Antitrust Subcommittee, said that he favors market approaches to developing mobile networks, but that care should be taken to ensure the merger preserves robust competition nationally and from smaller regional carriers, promotes consumer choices, and encourages innovation.
вЂњAn important question before our Subcommittee today is whether the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is a positive step along the path to world-class wireless broadband throughout the United States,вЂќ Senator Lee said during his opening remarks this morning. вЂњA merger between the two companies may provide significant and immediate efficiencies that will enable enhanced service quality, fewer blocked or dropped calls, and increasing data speeds.вЂќ
вЂњAt the same time, I share some of the concerns expressed by my colleague, Senator Kohl, and believe it is our responsibilityвЂ”along with the Department of JusticeвЂ™s Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications CommissionвЂ”to ensure that the proposed merger would not produce damaging anticompetitive effects,вЂќ he added.
вЂњA critical question, therefore, is whether the smaller regional carriers can effectively compete in a post-merger market,вЂќ Lee said, citing potential conflicts regarding the smaller carriersвЂ™ access to data roaming networks and the most popular devices, like iPhones.
Lee concluded: вЂњOur analysis of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile should be guided by what will be best for consumersвЂ”in the form of prices, service quality, and range of choice.вЂќ