AT&T, T-Mobile merger could benefit state
posted Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 @ 11:50 am
In the not too distant future, the Louisiana Public Service Commission will entertain a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, a company long known for its cellular telephone business but one that also is involved in wireless internet activities.
AT&T, of course, has been in the telephone business for years. Over the past 20 years, AT&T has emerged as a leader in the cellular telephone field. Through its land-based telephone line business, AT&T has a big stake in internet provider activities, too.
If AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile is completed, AT&T says it would be in a sound position to extend wireless broadband internet access to countless rural communities throughout Louisiana. We believe that would represent a positive step forward because scores of Louisianians currently do not have access to land-line broadband internet service because the cost of extending it to rural America far outweighs the return internet providers would yield from doing it.
Though AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile is not new news, the merger still awaits approval by the Federal Communications Commission. The U.S. Justice Department must sign off on the deal as well.
There is little the Louisiana Public Service Commission can do to stop AT&T and T-Mobile from merging. However, the PSC could stand in its way by initiating an inquiry of its own to determine whether the merger would disenfranchise businesses in Louisiana that are engaged in the same activities as AT&T and T-Mobile.
While we encourage the PSC to do its due diligence in ensuring that AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile would be good for Louisiana, we certainly do not want to see the PSC engage in a drawn-out probe that could possibly delay it from becoming a reality in a timely fashion.