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Senator asks DOJ and FCC to do their jobs, provide friction for AT&T / T-Mobile tie-up

Darren Murph

There's always one. Back in the winter of 2009, Senator Kerry made public his request for Fox and Time Warner to keep the Bowl Games online, and one Chuck Schumer took to writing an open letter to Steve Jobs regarding the iPhone reception woes that eventually led to a dedicated press event (mostly) disputing the matter. Now, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is urging the FCC and DOJ to "take a close look at the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger," noting that the outcome would undoubtedly have a huge impact on consumer choice, price and service in the wireless industry.

Of course, it's not like these two wouldn't be doing just that in the coming months, but it's good to see a fire starting early in Congress to make sure due diligence is done. Having a carrier that provides service to 42 percent of all US wireless subscribers has the potential to seriously shift the economics of things, and potentially more interesting are the implications of a rejection. In fact, many are suggesting that AT&T will likely have to sell off major assets and promise expansion to rural / poor areas in order to gain approval, which ties in nicely to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead's own comments regarding concessions. We're also hearing that regulators could take as long as 18 months to fully investigate, and you can bet we'll be following the play-by-play as it all unfolds.

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