AT&T Drops Bid for T-Mobile: Consumers Union Statement

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News Release
Consumers Union
Monday, December 19, 2011

AT&T and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom today announced that they have agreed to drop their bid to merge the two wireless companies.
 
Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union¸ the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said, “It’s an early holiday present for consumers. From the first day that this deal was announced, we have warned regulators, lawmakers, and consumers of the dangerous consequences of this merger.
 
“Regulators clearly saw through AT&T’s claims of better service and saw what we saw – a combined AT&T/T-Mobile would mean higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.  It would mean a wireless market dominated by a powerful duopoly with little incentive to compete with other carriers.
 
“We applaud the Justice Department and the FCC for their actions.  We urge them to apply this same strict level of scrutiny to future spectrum transactions as Verizon attempts to consolidate more spectrum.”
 
A price analysis survey of the voice and data plans available from AT&T and T-Mobile released by Consumers Union demonstrated that T-Mobile wireless plans typically cost $15 to $50 less per month than comparable plans from AT&T. In the most recent cell-phone satisfaction survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, AT&T consistently got lower marks than T-Mobile on almost every attribute rated, suggesting the merger would have been a setback to T-Mobile customers if it led to service closer to AT&T’s than T-Mobile’s.

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Media Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, or Kara Kelber, kkelber@consumer.org