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October 30, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement requiring AT&T Inc. (AT&T) to divest assets to address competition concerns in seven markets in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas, including rights to the "Cellular One" brand in order to proceed with its $2.8 billion acquisition of Dobson Communications Corporation (Dobson). The Department said that in certain areas the transaction, as originally proposed, would have resulted in higher prices, lower quality, and diminished investment in network improvements, and would have substantially lessened competition to the detriment of consumers of mobile wireless telecommunications services.
The Department's Antitrust Division filed a civil lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed consent decree that, if approved by the court, would resolve the Department's competitive concerns and the lawsuit.
"The required divestitures will preserve competition for residents in rural areas in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas and ensure that these consumers continue to enjoy the benefits of competition, such as lower prices, and higher quality," said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)
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