A number of big technology companies, including Microsoft, Facebook and Oracle, have come out in support of AT&T’s $39 billion bid for T-Mobile. But here’s one that might surprise you: Verizon Communications.
Currently the biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. and the top rival to AT&T, one might think that they’d be at odds with the deal. But, in remarks Wednesday at an investor conference, Verizon chief executive Lowell McAdam noted that the “match had to occur” given the wireless spectrum issues now facing the industry, according to Boy Genius Report.
“I have taken the position that the AT&T merger with T-Mobile was kind of like gravity,” McAdam said. “It had to occur, because you had a company with a T-Mobile that had the spectrum but didn’t have the capital to build it out. AT&T needed the spectrum, they didn’t have it in order to take care of their customers, and so that match had to occur.”
Meanwhile, a trial date of February 13th has been set in the DOJ’s lawsuit against the merger. The Justice Department sued AT&T and T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsche Telekcom on August 31, arguing that the deal would hurt the wireless industry and lead to higher prices for consumers. In an effort to salvage the deal, Reuters reports that AT&T and T-Mobile are assembling a legal “dream team” of litigators and experts in antitrust law.
Both Sprint Nextel and Cellular South have filed suits to block the merger.
Previously on GeekWire: AT&T talks to rivals about selling assets in effort to save T-Mobile bid