The hopes of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger have been dashed by a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit to block the deal, citing anti-trust concerns. However, the deal does have one heavyweight political backer: Texas Governor and GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Perry.
Back in May, Perry, in his official capacity as the Texas Governor, even wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of it.
Below are some of the pro-merger arguments Perry made:
- AT&T's commitment of $8 billion in additional investments
- More wireless broadband access to rural America
- More U.S. network capacity and output
We have all benefited from the highly competitive wireless marketplace that flourished even in our most challenging economic times, thanks in large part to a light regulatory touch, wrote Perry.
Perry's letter received some attention in the last two days given the DOJ's lawsuit and a National Journal report that the Texas politician received over $500,000 in contributions from AT&T's PAC over the past decade.
This is just one more example of Rick Perry's pay-to-play network that represents the same old type of lobbyist-first politics, said Ty Matsdorf, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, reported National Journal.
In response, a Perry spokesperson told the publication that the governor believes the deal will be good for consumers, good for technology innovation, and good for American job creation.
Perry is 1 of at least 27 governors who sent letters to support the deal.
Rival Verizon has 39 percent, so the merger would create a duopoly that controls a combined 82 percent of the market.
Critics of the deal allege that it would kill competition, stifle innovation, and raise prices for customers.
They also reject the claims that it would create jobs and is necessary to bring wireless broadband access to rural America.
Below is the text of Perry's letter:
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Dear Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Baker and Clybum:
Texas' jobs and economic climate is the best in America, and we aim to keep it that way. Our
state's strong, diversified economy and business-friendly policies land Texas at the top of
countless media and national organizations' lists of best states for business and job growth.
It's not luck that we find ourselves in such a comparatively strong position. It is a credit to a
business and regulatory climate that spurs investment, encourages commercial expansion and
provides a high quality of life that's attractive to families.
Texas leaders and employers also know that we must deliver on critical communication and
transportation infrastructure to remain competitive and prosperous. Our state and our nation
need world-class communication and access to cutting-edge technology. That is why I support
the proposed merger between Dallas-based AT&T and German-owned T-Mobile USA.
First, the commitment of at least an additional $8 billion in private investment over seven years
as a result of this merger is significant. Texans know the benefits of private investment in
spurring job creation, encouraging economic growth and catalyzing the next great technological
leap forward. This level of investment is a boon for Texas, but even more so for our larger
The combined strength of AT&T and T-Mobile also means that millions more Ame r i c ans -
including in rural communities across Texas and the southwest - should have high-speed
wireless broadband in their grasp for the first time.
Here in the Lone Star State, residents in deep South Texas and the fast-growing Rio Grande
Valley should enjoy access to high-speed LTE service for the first time.
In an environment where demand is strong and spectrum supply is limited, the increased network
capacity and output resulting from uniting AT&T and T-Mobile are the best way to ensure
broader access to enhanced, high-speed services. For traditionally underserved areas or hard-to reach rural portions of our state, the impact of this merger should not be understated.
Serving these populations is a significant milestone as we increasingly rely on mobile apps to
educate, communicate, deliver health care, move goods and provide dynamic platforms for
businesses to compete in the global marketplace.
We also believe that the combined resources and networks should ensure that the spectrum
crunch our nation faces is lifted to some extent, providing a higher quality of service to more
We have all benefited from the highly competitive wireless marketplace that flourished even in
our most challenging economic times, thanks in large part to a light regulatory touch. New
competitors, advanced technologies and cutting-edge devices continue to enter the marketplace.
I believe that this merger will continue to provide for great consumer choice, offer a wide range
of service options and spur continued innovation.
The future rests in wireless broadband, and the federal government's swift approval of the
merger between AT&T and T-Mobile would send a strong signal to employers, consumers and
states that our federal government is serious about meeting the communication and technology
needs of Texans and all Americans.