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LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and 10 other state attorneys general today asked the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to expeditiously review and approve the proposed merger of telecommunications companies AT&T and T-Mobile.

The bipartisan group of attorneys general led by McDaniel and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, said in a letter to the FCC and DOJ that the merger will create new capacity for the combined company, leading to better phone service and faster data downloads for consumers. The attorneys general join 26 governors, other state and local elected officials, 10 national unions, major high-tech and venture capital firms and other national organization in calls for federal regulators to approve the merger.

"There are significant economic and public benefits to this merger, and I'm proud to work with my fellow attorneys general to communicate our concerns to the DOJ and FCC," McDaniel said. "My primary concern is my hope that federal regulators do not require the divestiture of much-needed spectrum capacity."

In their letter, the attorneys general cited AT&T's commitment to deploy "Long-Term Evolution" wireless broadband to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population as a result of the merger. LTE is a next-generation technology that supports faster wireless broadband speeds and has fewer delays. The spectrum capacity AT&T would acquire will be critical to serving those needs.

In the letter to DOJ Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the attorneys general urged approval of the merger "with appropriate and carefully-crafted merger-specific remedies and conditions… [that] may be needed to protect competition and the public interest without unduly delaying the merger or undermining the synergies, economies or benefits of the merger."

In addition to McDaniel and Shurtleff, attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming signed the letter.


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