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Seven States Join DOJ in Suit Against AT&T

Consumers Union – Publisher of Consumer Reports

Friday, September 16, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) gained the support of seven state attorneys general in their efforts to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Attorneys general from New York, Washington, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania, representing more than one-third of the American population, signed on.

Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “The addition of these seven states to the DOJ’s suit against AT&T only reinforces the seriousness of the consequences that a combined AT&T/T-Mobile would have on consumers. These attorneys general have reviewed the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile and come to the same conclusion we have – that it means higher prices and fewer choices. At a time when American families simply can’t afford to pay more for their wireless service, there is no room for a merger that would put 4 out of 5 national wireless contracts in the hands of two mega-companies.”

A recent price analysis survey of the voice and data plans available from AT&T and T-Mobile released by Consumers Union demonstrates that T-Mobile wireless plans typically cost $15 to $50 less per month than comparable plans from AT&T. In addition, the most recent cell-phone satisfaction survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that AT&T got lower marks than T-Mobile on almost every attribute rated, suggesting the proposed merger would be a setback to T-Mobile customers if it lead to service more resembling AT&T’s than T-Mobile’s.

Contact: David Butler or Kara Kelber, 202-462-6262, dbutler@consumer.org or kkelber@consumer.org