A House Judiciary subcommittee has set a tentative date for later this month for its hearing examining AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile USA.
Following remarks Wednesday at a Computer and Communications Industry Association conference, Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told Tech Daily Dose that the hearing is tentatively set for May 26. During his speech, Goodlatte did not tip his hand on where he stands on the merger, saying "I don't want to prejudge that."
CCIA President and CEO Ed Black told Goodlatte that he hopes the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission will block the merger. "It really is a bridge too far," Black said. The group argues that further consolidation among wireless providers will stifle innovation and competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.
During remarks later in the morning, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calf., ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Communications and the Internet Subcommittee, said Congress and federal regulators need to "carefully scrutinize" the merger.
In particular, she said they need to examine how the merger will impact the price of wireless data services, the special access market, which are the rates businesses and other organizations pay to connect their networks to the Internet, and competition and choice for consumers and businesses in next-generation wireless services.