Verizon went to bat for the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, reports Boy Genius Report. Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference on Wednesday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the massive deal has to occur, unless the government can better focus on giving telecoms more wireless spectrum McAdam went on to say that he has told the FCC that blocking the merger will harm American consumers.
AT&T is seeking a “prompt trial” of the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging its proposed acquisition of wireless carrier T-Mobile USA.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said AT&T is simultaneously prepared to fight the government and the court and look for ways to come to a settlement with the Justice Department. “Efficiencies will be the core of the debate in court,” he said, adding that over the past decade as there has been more consolidation in the wireless industry, prices have come down.
There was no talk of settlement yesterday in federal court, reports Bloomberg. Mark Hansen, an attorney for AT&T, told U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle that the company wants to get to trial as quickly as possible. Huvelle, who had earlier told the parties to come prepared to discuss settlement prospects, set a trial date for Feb. 13.
Venture Beat says Verizon’s CEO could be hinting that Verizon Wireless wants to keep the door open to acquire Sprint. Verizon may also have their eye on acquiring US Cellular, Leap/Cricket and Metro PCS.
Separate suits to block the deal have been filed by Sprint Nextel, the third-biggest U.S. wireless operator, and Ridgeland, Mississippi-based Cellular South, the ninth- largest.
The Justice Department sued Dallas-based AT&T and Deutsche Telekom AG on Aug. 31, saying a combination of the two companies, would make AT&T the biggest U.S. wireless carrier, and would “substantially” reduce competition. Last week, seven states joined the government’s case seeking to stop the $39 billion deal.
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