Holder: DOJ is ‘ready and eager’ for AT&T antitrust trial

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that the Justice Department’s antitrust trial team was “ready and eager” to fight in court to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T.

Holder, currently facing calls for his resignation from 36 congressmen for his involvement with Operation Fast and Furious, told the committee that the department’s antitrust division is “committed” to seeing the trial through.

The DOJ filed suit in August to block AT&T’s deal. The Justice Department argues that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile would eliminate a market disruptor that ensures competition and keeps prices low for consumers. Critics of the suit argue that T-Mobile does not have a significant enough market impact to harm consumers if it were to merge with AT&T.

AT&T, currently the second largest wireless provider ahead of Sprint, would overtake Verizon’s number one ranking if the merger is approved. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has spent his own money, in addition to Sprint’s resources, to oppose the merger.

Hesse has lobbied Congress and courted technology CEOs to gather opposition to the deal. Sprint sued AT&T a week after the DOJ’s suit was filed.

The Communications Workers of America, an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union, contends the proposed merger would create 100,000 jobs in the United States.

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