| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2011
TTY (866) 544-5309
REMARKS AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY BY ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL SHARIS A. POZEN AT THE AT&T/T-MOBILE PRESS CONFERENCE
Thank you, Jim. And thank you for your leadership and support on this case.
As the Deputy Attorney General mentioned, this is an extremely vital industry with more than 300 million feature phones, smart phones, data cards, tablets, and other mobile wireless devices in service today. As you are well aware, the Department of Justice has significant experience in this industry going as far back as the original breakup of AT&T. We know this industry well—inside and out.
Here, the Antitrust Division conducted an exhaustive investigation. We conducted dozens of interviews of customers and competitors, and we reviewed more than 1 million AT&T and T-Mobile documents. The conclusion we reached was clear. Any way you look at this transaction, it is anticompetitive. Our action today seeks to ensure that our nation enjoys the competitive wireless industry it deserves.
T-Mobile has been an important source of competition among the national carriers through innovation and quality enhancements. For example, T-Mobile rolled-out the first nationwide high-speed data network using advanced HSPA+ technology and the first handset using the Android operating system. It has also been an important source of price competition in the industry. Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation in the mobile wireless market, in the form of low prices and innovative wireless handsets, operating systems, and calling plans, will be diminished—and consumers will suffer.
T-Mobile competes with the other three national providers to attract individual consumers, businesses, and government customers for mobile wireless telecommunications services. They compete on price, plan structure, network coverage, quality, speed, devices, and operating systems. A combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would eliminate this price competition and innovation. It would reduce the number of nationwide competitors in the marketplace from four to three. Eliminating this aggressive competitor, which offers low pricing and innovative products, would hurt consumers, businesses, and government customers that rely on a competitive marketplace to provide them with the best products at the best possible price.
It is important to move expeditiously to preserve the lower prices and innovation resulting from T-Mobile’s competitive presence in this market. That’s why we filed a lawsuit to block this transaction—our goal is to preserve price competition and innovation in this important industry.
I want to thank the Division’s Deputies for their expertise and counsel. And I want to especially recognize the Telecommunications staff led by Chief Laury Bobbish and the many others in the Division for their tireless work on this important matter. Consumers and businesses around the country owe you a great deal of thanks. We also want to thank our partners in law enforcement, including the Federal Communications Commission and the state Attorneys General who have assisted and partnered with us in our investigation.
We would be happy to take any of your questions.