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Group Calls AT&T-T-Mobile Deal ‘Most Anti-Consumer’ in History Group Calls AT&T-T-Mobile Deal ‘Most Anti-Consumer’ in History

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Technology

TECHNOLOGY

Group Calls AT&T-T-Mobile Deal ‘Most Anti-Consumer’ in History

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Executives at AT&T attend a news conference where it was announced that AT&T Inc. will be buying its wireless rival T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Computer and Communications Industry Association attacked AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile on Tuesday, calling it a “lose-lose” deal because it would damage competition and drive up prices.

The CCIA, a tech-industry trade group whose members include T-Mobile USA, as well as eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, said that the deal could drive up prices for wireless services and harm smaller wireless carriers.

 

“This may be the most aggressive and anti-consumer merger proposal in history, with many antitrust issues to be unraveled in the coming months,” CCIA President Ed Black said in a statement.

CCIA said that AT&T’s purchase of the nation’s fourth-biggest wireless provider would be particularly harmful for smaller regional wireless carriers and handset makers that would be negotiating deals with only one carrier at a time because the two biggest nationwide carriers, Verizon and AT&T, use different wireless-technology standards.

 “A deal like this, if not blocked on antitrust grounds, is of deep concern to all the innovative businesses that build everything from apps to handsets,” Black said.

 

This is not the first time that CCIA has gone against one of its members. The association criticized the deal that Google reached with Verizon last summer on network neutrality and also voiced concerns about Microsoft’s efforts a few years ago to buy Yahoo.

AT&T announced on Sunday that it had reached a $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA. The agreement must still be approved by federal regulators, however. CCIA argued that the deal appears to violate the new guidelines on horizontal mergers issued last year by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

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