AT&T ended its effort to buy T-Mobile USA on Monday, acknowledging that it could not overcome stiff opposition by the Obama administration to form the nation's biggest cellphone service provider.
The Justice Department took the aggressive step of suing to block the deal in late August, while the Federal Communications Commission had signaled its intent to fight the merger as well.
"People in this town didn't think that the department was willing to take the risk to litigate big, complex cases," said a senior Justice Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to go beyond the department's public statement. "But this puts down a very firm marker that we are taking antitrust enforcement very seriously."
"Consumers won today," Sharis Pozen, the Justice Department's acting assistant attorney general for antitrust, said in a statement. "Had AT&T acquired T-Mobile, consumers in the wireless marketplace would have faced higher prices and reduced innovation."
Credit where credit is due. It's good to see the DOJ taking this stance in this are. I hope we see more in this direction.