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back to article New York vows review of AT&T deal

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman has announced that his office will carry out a thorough review of AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. "Cell phones are no longer a luxury for a few among us, but a basic necessity. The last thing New Yorkers need during these difficult economic times is to see cell phone …

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Humbug

"AT&T has argued that the acquisition will more quickly bring 4G wireless broadband to the country and that it's taking a American operator out of the hands of a foreign company."

What is an American company anymore anyway?

More of AT&T probably works in India and China than in the US so how can they be "an American company".

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O for once..

welcome our new american company that does not provide jobs to americans.

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Grenade

Good

It's good to see the FCC as well as the Attorney General of the state of NY looking at this thoroughly. It's a bad deal for consumers and a great deal for AT&T and Deutsche Telecom. It would be better for competition if T-Mobile either remained independent or merged with someone else who's not AT&T and Verizon.

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What? Higher prices? Get outta ear

at&t is a fine, upstanding company who only has the well-being of the world's cell phone users in mind. They would NEVER, EVER raise prices, jus cuz they spent $39B! Come on now, be serious. Just cuz they can do it, don't mean they would! I trust them completely! FCC, rubber-stamp this one too; and tell the NY AG to mind their own business.

/sarcasm

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Boffin

A.G. Schneiderman apparently didn't read the US Constitution's fine print...

For purposes of clarity with regard to the article, one must keep in mind matters of scope and ultimate jurisdiction.

It doesn't matter what New York's A.G. office does, Attorney General Schneiderman can investigate until he's blue in the face. Even if his office comes to the conclusion that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal is a Bad Thing, there's nothing they can do about it except file complaints with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and/or DoJ (Department of Justice).

If they're really lucky, the state may be able to bring a lawsuit in the Federal Circuit seeking an injunction, presuming it doesn't get dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Why?

Simple: What we here West of The Big Pond call the "Commerce Clause" (Clause 3) in Article I, Section 8:

-- -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Section_8:_Powers_of_Congress

-- -- -- -- "The Congress shall have power... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

and the "Necessary and Proper Clause" (Clause 18) in the same Article:

-- -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Section_8:_Powers_of_Congress

-- -- -- -- "The Congress shall have power... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

in combination with the "Reserved Powers Clause" of the Tenth Amendment:

-- -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Text

-- -- -- -- "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Since a merger among large, nationwide-operating, publicly-traded corporations is arguably an Interstate Commerce issue

-- -- ("Congress shall have power to regulate Commerce among the several States")

any judgements blocking the proposed merger must originate at the Federal level. Furthermore, Congress has created Departments, Agencies, or Commissions to oversee Interstate and Multi-National corporations:

-- -- ("The Congress shall have power to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers")

and has assigned the responsibility for regulating them to those Departments, Agencies, or Commissions:

-- -- (""The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.")

So, in short, the best that New York's A.G. office (or any state-level office) can do is offer an opinion, maybe bring a lawsuit.

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Does the fact that Wall Street is in New York make a difference?

Pardon my ignorance, but [I thought] I'd read of some merger 'n acquisition cases that were disputed in New York because the stock exchange (where I would assume the stock part of the deal would change hands) is on Wall Street (or something to that effect). Perhaps I misread and am wrong ... ?

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Nope, Feds still rule.

Of course, given the history the New York attorney general office has of ignoring the Constitution except when it suites them, that won't actually stop them from investigating and prosecuting. It just means that when he does proceed, the defendants just go up the appellate chain until the suit gets summarily tossed. Granted, it may need to go all the way to SCOTUS before it gets tossed.

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Boffin

Well, when it comes to antitrust reviews...

... that immediately kicks things up to the Federal Court System.

In the US, Federal cases initiated by the Federal government are usually filed in the District in which the corporation's primary headquarters resides.

AT&T's headquarters are located in Dallas, Texas, so any antitrust lawsuits filed by the FCC, FTC, or DoJ would nominally be filed in the United States District Court for The Northern District of Texas.

However, I'm not sure where New York would choose to file its lawsuit, should it come to that. Being that the New York Attorney General's office is located in Albany, New York (the state capital), they would probably file the case in the District Court for The Northern District of New York.

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Stop

ARGH!

"Cell phones are no longer a luxury for a few among us, but a basic necessity."

No, they're NOT, you damn big government douchebag.

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Are you saying?

That mobile phones aren't a necessity?

Try telling that to their users,

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I'm a mobile phone user. It's a luxury, not

a necessity. If you're dumb enough to make it your only phone, that's your problem.

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Coat

Yeah

Because we can all go out and buy really really long extension cables so we can talk when we're out and about.

(mines the one with 2km of wiring sticking out of the pocket)

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