AT&T CEO: Deal is 'all about consumers'

AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson plans to tell a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that the acquisition of T-Mobile is "all about consumers."

According to a copy of his testimony obtained by The Hill, he will argue that the deal is "all about keeping up with consumer demand."

"It's about having the capacity to drive innovation and competitive prices for consumers," he says. 

He will also dispute arguments that the deal will decrease competition and raise prices. "That is simply not true," he says.

The deal "could not possibly derail the powerful forces of competition in one of the nation's most competitive industries. Wireless industry output is exploding and is on track to increase many times over by 2015. The pace of innovation is even more remarkable. Prices have dropped rapidly, whether measured on a revenue per voice minute or per megabyte basis. Advertising is among the most robust and aggressive of any industry," he says. "None of that will change."

The merger result in extra choice for T-Mobile customers, he argues. 

"All T-Mobile customers will have the choice of retaining their existing rate plans or switching to an AT&T rate plan, and they will thus have more choices than before, including a state-of-the-art LTE service that T-Mobile had no clear path to offer on a standalone basis," he says. 

He also argues that the merger will benefit handset and application makers.

"Manufacturers and software developers can be assured of access to the combined company’s customer base and improved networks as they design and launch their products, spreading the cost and risk over more potential customers for their innovations. And, by continuing to improve service quality and product offerings, AT&T can keep the pressure on its competitors to innovate and introduce new and better services," he says.