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Thursday, September 01, 2011

DoJ's Action Against AT&T/T-Mobile Hurts Investment, Innovation, Quality Broadband Deployment

SBE Council issued the following statement in response to yesterday's U.S. Department of Justice decision to sue to stop the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.

SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating said: "The Department of Justice's decision to sue to stop this merger is a glaring example of government deciding that it knows best how the wireless market should develop. Especially given the incredible dynamism, innovation and growth in the telecommunications arena, this is absurd. It's important to keep in mind what both the Federal Communications Commission and Government Accountability Office have reported about the wireless market, that is, that wireless access has expanded and prices have fallen dramatically over the past two decades. And that occurred amidst consolidation among wireless providers. In the end, the merits and efficacy of a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile should be left for consumers - including entrepreneurs, small businesses and their employees - to decide, not government political appointees."

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan added: "It is unfathomable that the government has decided to block a merger that would bring high speed wireless access to many areas of the country that need such a tool to compete and survive in the challenging economy. It's hard to believe that DOJ decision-makers, as well as leaders at the Federal Communications Commission, still cling to an outdated view of competition when all the evidence demonstrates that innovation, lower prices, and vast choices are flourishing. This backward thinking by DOJ, and the other private-sector micromanagers in this Administration, is killing investment, jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs."

According to SBE Council, technology is changing rapidly, far too rapidly for DOJ lawyers to decide which business models make sense and which do not in the marketplace. Advancements are creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and business of all types and sizes as both providers and consumers of telecommunications services.

This most recent action by the federal government sends yet another signal to American business that Washington remains hostile to businesses of all sizes.

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