Sen. Klobuchar Seeks Raft of Info From AT&T, T-Mobile - Broadcasting & Cable

Sen. Klobuchar Seeks Raft of Info From AT&T, T-Mobile

Pushing FCC and Justice to take a "close, hard look" at the deal
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Sen.
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has made her own data request of AT&T and T-Mobile.

While
the FCC and Justice will be collecting lots of information on the companies as
they review AT&T's proposed $30 billion purchase of T-Mobile, Klobuchar has
written the CEO's of both companies with a top 10 list of questions she wants
answered.

Klobuchar
has already pushed the FCC and Justice to take a "close, hard look"
at the deal, which she says would give the new company a 75% market share of
wireless and "diminish the possibility that the industry will act on its
own to institute pro-consumer practices."

Klobuchar
points out that she is asking as the only senator on both the Commerce and Judiciary
committees, which share jurisdiction over the FCC and Justice.

Her
questions:

1."How
will you ensure that the proposed transaction will not lead to higher prices
for consumers?

2."What
impact will decreased competition in the wireless industry have on practices
that impact consumers such as cell phone exclusivity, early termination fees,
and bill shock? 

3."Will
AT&T commit to continuing to sell T-Mobile's lower-priced plans after the
merger to all T-Mobile and AT&T customers?

4."Will
the acquisition of T-Mobile enable AT&T to reach rural parts of the country
that AT&T could not reach if it simply entered into data roaming agreements
with T-Mobile or other wireless carriers?

5."Will
AT&T support device interoperability and ensure that devices built to work
on AT&T's future Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks are usable on the LTE
networks of other carriers?

6."AT&T
and Verizon will control 75 percent of the wireless market.  Given this
concentration, can the wireless market be competitive?  If yes, can you
articulate any specific level of concentration that would render the wireless
market no longer competitive?

7."Will
AT&T allow existing T-Mobile customers to switch providers without penalty
if they do not want service from AT&T?

8."Will
AT&T offer smaller carriers data roaming agreements at reasonable rates?

9."Will
AT&T commit to forego any handset exclusivity agreements with cell phone
manufacturers?

10."What
impact would a potential merger have on T-Mobile employees and will the
combined company commit to maintain current employment levels?"

"We've received the letter," said an AT&T spokesperson, "and look forward to providing the Senator with information on the consumer benefits of the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile?"

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