The Wall Street Journal is reporting that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is going to put AT&T‘s (T) $39 billion proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom (DE) under a “thorough review” for possible anti-competitive impact.
“Cell phones are no longer a luxury for a few among us, but a basic necessity. The last thing New Yorkers need during these difficult economic times is to see cell phone prices rise,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement given today. According to Schneiderman, affordable wireless service and technology, including smart phones are the bridge to the digital broadband future. “We want to ensure,” he said, that “all New Yorkers benefit from these important innovations that improve lives.”
Schneiderman also noted that the potential impact of the merger may be greater in Upstate NY where there are fewer wireless options than in New York City.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen also weighed in, saying the proposed merger “clearly raises concerns.” He added he would consult with the Justice Department to find the best way to approach a review of the competitive issues.
Yesterday, Sprint (S) came out and expressed its opposition against the deal, stating that should the merger go through, AT&T and Verizon would have a combined 80% share of the U.S. market. The CEOs of Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) and LightSquared have also voiced their concerns about the deal.
Verizon Wireless (VZ), currently the nation’s largest carrier, has not said anything about the competitive nature of the transaction.