In this issue: The DOJ’s case against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger has the potential to be a landmark antitrust case. As such, the case will raise and—potentially—answer key questions about acceptable mergers. Our authors not only present viewpoints on both sides of the case but also ask some of the fascinating, less-analyzed questions the case raises. […]

Crony Capitalism and Antitrust

Maurice Stucke, Oct 31, 2011 This flexibility in legal standards is attractive to testifying experts, lobbyists, and antitrust counsel who “know” and “can work” with the FTC and the DOJ to get the merger through. It is far from desirable for corporate executives who need to know what is legal or illegal, as well as […]

The Future Legacy of the AT&T/ T-Mobile Merger Case

Jonathan Rubin, Oct 31, 2011 The government’s challenge to the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile’s U.S. wireless communications business by AT&T Mobility could leave a lasting imprint on the annals of antitrust. The epic cases between the government and “Ma Bell” in the 1980s and Microsoft in the 1990s not only moved antitrust policy onto the […]

Will the 2010 Merger Guidelines Survive the DOJ’s Complaint in U.S. v. AT&T?

Geoffrey Manne, Joshua Wright, Oct 31, 2011 AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile presents an opportunity for judicial scrutiny of the newest iteration of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Horizontal Merger Guidelines (“2010 Guidelines”). The Agencies revised the 2010 Guidelines with an eye toward increasing transparency and predictability by conforming them […]

DOJ’s Attempt to Block the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Places the Horizontal Merger Guidelines on Trial

Benjamin Brown, Oct 31, 2011 In the U.S. antitrust merger enforcement community, many believed that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) would sue to enjoin any attempt to further consolidate among the Big Four, especially any combination that would involve either of the biggest two networks, Verizon and AT&T, eliminating one of their smaller competitors. It […]

AT&T/T-Mobile: Does Efficiency Really Count?

FCCHoward Chang, David Evans, Richard Schmalensee, Oct 31, 2011 AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile faces two major court challenges: the Justice Department’s suit to block the deal and Sprint’s private suit. The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), which has overlapping jurisdiction in reviewing the transaction, has also expressed concerns. Addressing the Justice Department’s concerns, […]

Oops, They Did it Again: What We Didn’t Learn From U.S. v. Microsoft

Larry Downes, Oct 31, 2011 On Aug 31, 2011, the Department of Justice, joined later by seven state attorneys general filed suit to block AT&T’s pending merger with T-Mobile USA. To be sure, the Department of Justice has never expressed any regret over the Microsoft case or any other recent antitrust action. But the decision […]

Can the President of the United States Order the Attorney General to Drop a Case?

Anant Raut, Oct 31, 2011 Last month, 15 Democrats and 100 Republicans signed separate letters endorsing the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger and urging the Obama administration to drop the lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division to block it. The fact that nearly all of the signatories turned out to have received thousands of […]