Group urges Democrats to reverse support of AT&T/T-Mobile merger

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The Democrats, led by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), voiced their support for the deal in a June 24 letter. They cited as key to their support AT&Ts plan to deploy 4G wireless broadband to more than 97 percent of the country if the deal is approved.

But according to Free Press, information that AT&T accidentally released last week undermines the companys claim that it needs to buy T-Mobile to expand broadband access.

Documents unintentionally posted on the Federal Communications Commissions website revealed it would cost AT&T $3.8 billion to expand its 4G coverage to 97 percent of the country — far less than the $39 billion cost of acquiring T-Mobile.

The numbers don’t add up,” Free Press Political Director Joel Kelsey wrote in a letter to the lawmakers. It’s clear that AT&T is willing to pay a hefty premium to kill the competition.

Kelsey argued the deal would create a duopoly, with AT&T and Verizon controlling most of the wireless market. He claimed it would reduce consumer choice, lead to higher monthly bills and destroy jobs.  

An AT&T spokeswoman said the leaked documents were consistent with AT&T’s previous statements.

“Once again, Free Press is twisting words and misrepresenting facts, she said. “Simply put, AT&T would not be able to deliver 4G LTE to 55 million more Americans without this merger.

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