States lend more support for AT&T/T-Mobile deal

AT&T's (NYSE:T) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile received another shot in the arm Wednesday after 11 state attorneys general wrote to the FCC and the Department of Justice in support of the deal.

The campaign by the attorneys general was led by Dustin McDaniel of Arkansas and Mark Shurtleff of Utah, and the officials wrote to urge the federal agencies to "expeditiously review and approve the proposed merger of telecommunications companies AT&T and T-Mobile."

Attorneys general from Arkansas, Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming wrote in support of the deal, arguing that it will boost network capacity and expand LTE coverage.

"There are significant economic and public benefits to this merger," McDaniel said in the statement, according to Bloomberg. "My primary concern is my hope that federal regulators do not require the divestiture of much-needed spectrum capacity."

Ultimately, the FCC and Justice Department will decide the fate of the deal.

Separately, the Louisiana Public Service Commission voted 4-1 to approve the deal, and said there was nothing about the transaction that went against the public interest.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which has been the most outspoken critic of the transaction, said that the Louisiana commission voted not to oppose the deal and to defer to the FCC. "Today's Louisiana Public Service Commission decision not to oppose AT&T's takeover bid for T-Mobile was far from the ringing endorsement AT&T sought," Sprint spokesman John Taylor told The Hill.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this The Hill article

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