Originally published: June 21, 2011
Last updated: June 21, 2011 - 6:40pm
AT&T says it’s still on track to get its merger with T-Mobile approved by March 2012, even as state utilities, business partners and consumer interest groups express concern about the deal.
In a meeting with reporters in Washington, AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said the company has provided a second round of information requested by the Justice Department. He said meetings with the Federal Communications Commission are also going as scheduled. “The number one question I get from investors is can we get (the deal) done,” Watt said. “I think we can.” He rejected arguments that merger approval should include a stipulation that AT&T stop exclusive contracts with handset makers. It’s two-year exclusive contract with Apple was the main reason behind its smartphone success, the company has said.
Watts launched into an unbidden defense of his company, which has come under fire over the support it has gotten for the merger from groups to which it has donated thousands of dollars. "We contribute to organizations because we are a socially responsible company," Watts said. A spokeswoman said many of the organizations involved have received money from AT&T for more than a decade. And Watts named other groups and corporations, including several big technology companies, that he says haven't gotten money from AT&T.
- Justice Dept. wants to put off AT&T-T-Mobile merger trial
- AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Faces Antitrust Barriers
- June 18-24: AT&T/T-Mobile Update
- Could AT&T Merger Be Inevitable?
- Transfer of Spectrum from AT&T to T-Mobile Approved by FCC
- AT&T has ‘no regrets’ over failed T-Mobile bid
- California to Review Proposed AT&T, T-Mobile Merger
- AT&T Finds Unlikely Source Of Support
- Recap: How Will the Proposed Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile Affect Wireless Telecommunications Competition?
- AT&T ramps up lobby for proposed T-Mobile merger
- Survey Shows Public Uninformed on AT&T/T-Mobile Deal
- With T-Mobile deal dead, AT&T is scaling back on lobbying force
- Free Press Urges Congress To Oppose "Unthinkable" Wireless Merger
- AT&T Merger With T-Mobile Faces Setbacks
- In pursuit of T-Mobile, AT&T has fierce lobbying clout