The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) today cleared AT&T's merger with BellSouth. AT&T General Counsel James D. Ellis announced, "This unequivocal and unconditional approval underscores the competitive nature of our industry and the pro-competitive benefits of this merger. AT&T is focused on bringing more video choices and next-generation broadband services to as many consumers as possible and our merger with BellSouth will help deliver these benefits to more consumers, more quickly".
Meanwhile, the Competition Coalition, an organization concerned about the remonopolization of the old Ma Bell telephone network, held different throughts, "Unfortunately, by endorsing the largest telecommunications merger in history, the DoJ ignored the interests of consumers and the valid concerns raised by many experts and organizations that the reconstitution of Ma Bell will lead to higher prices, job cuts, violations of customer privacy, and a widening of the digital divide. AT&T, with the help of a complicit government, is poised to control nearly half of the nation’s phone lines, and will also be the largest wireless and broadband Internet company in the country."