WASHINGTON — Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division, made the following statement today after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision yesterday approving the Department's settlements of the antitrust challenges to SBC's acquisition of AT&T and Verizon's acquisition of MCI:
"We are pleased that the court found the settlements to be in the public interest. The court's action follows a lengthy and thorough review of the settlements. The decision confirms that the settlements negotiated by the Department are in the public interest by remedying the harms to consumers that the Department had concluded would otherwise have resulted from these mergers. Entry of the settlements ensures that the divestiture remedies, which will restore competition to the benefit of consumers, can be fully implemented."