Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions

September 30, 2011

Agricultural Commissioners Back AT&T Deal for T-Mobile USA

State Agriculture Commissioners from nine U.S. states are supporting AT&T’s (News - Alert) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

The state commissioners say that the deal will lead to an increased presence of wireless broadband in U.S. rural areas, according to a report from

AT&T said it will add wireless broadband in rural areas with some of the new spectrum it will get if the acquisition is approved by regulators.

"I am writing to express my support for the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in his filing at the FCC (News - Alert). "Florida agriculture is a $100 billion industry. With increased capabilities like broader reaching wireless services, there will be even greater opportunities to grow."

"The merger...would be a giant step toward ensuring broadband access for more South Dakotans," wrote Agriculture Commissioner Walt Bones of South Dakota in an FCC filing. "Promising a national post-merger infrastructure investment of more than $8 billion, AT&T would be able to expand its high-speed mobile network, increase broadband speeds, and improve its service and data offerings.”

The commissioners said the deal will also lead to new jobs, improved education, and the use of GPS technology on crop seeding, management and fertilization, said.

The nine agricultural commissioners are from Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and South Dakota.

In addition, Future Farmers of America and the U.S. Cattlemen's association support AT&T’s proposed deal for T Mobile USA.

The merger will create the largest wireless company in the United States.

The U.S. Justice Department is trying to block the deal saying it would hurt consumers by decreasing competition and raising prices. But AT&T disagrees with the government action.

“The complaint largely ignores the significant competition from established providers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint, innovative upstarts such as MetroPCS and Leap/Cricket, and strong regional providers like US Cellular and Cellular South (News - Alert), among others,” according to an AT&T legal document, quoted by TMCnet.

If AT&T fails to get approval for the T-Mobile acquisition, it will be forced to pay current T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert) $3 billion and also hand over spectrum to the company, TMCnet adds.


Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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