New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
said Tuesday that his office would undertake a "thorough review" of
the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger;
AT&T says that's OK with them.
"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," he said in a
statement, pointing out that T-Mobile was now a low cost alternative for millions
of New Yorkers and 34 million customers nationwide.
In response Tuesday, an AT&T spokesperson said: "We look forward to
sharing information with the AG's office and remain excited about the
significant consumer and competition benefits that this transaction will
provide, including improved customer service and expanded high-speed LTE
wireless coverage to additional residents and areas across New York State and
the rest of the U.S."
Expanding next-generation service is one of AT&T's
key talking points given that the Obama administration has essentially asked
wireless companies to deliver 4G service to 95% of the country within five
Schneiderman seemed to be on the same page when it
came to boosting next-gen wireless broadband: "Affordable wireless service
and technology, including smart phones and next generation handheld devices,
are the bridge to the digital broadband future. We want to ensure all New
Yorkers benefit from these important innovations that improve lives," he
He said he would look at both the possible upsides of
delivering service to underserved rural upstate areas, and the downsides of
reducing competition in upstate markets like Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo and
Rochester "where there are already fewer wireless options."