The Louisiana Public Service Commission is still gathering public comments on the proposed $39 billion AT&T/T-Mobile deal, but earlier this week Arizona’s public utility approved the merger in that state without a hearing.
In late May the Louisiana PSC announced that it was opening a proceeding to allow the general public to file comments on the proposed buyout of T-Mobile USA by AT&T. The commission did not indicate that it would launch an investigation into the deal, noting instead that the state would make recommendations to federal regulators based on the comments it receives on the deal. The commission could recommend the deal to the FCC and FTC, or indicate opposition to it.
“As the Louisiana PSC conducts its fact gathering, we are also confident they will agree it benefits the public interest, including a significant expansion of mobile broadband across the state, particularly in rural areas,” says AT&T-Louisiana spokeswoman Kim Allen.
“A combined AT&T and T-Mobile will bring our customers a stronger Louisiana network more quickly than either company could alone," Allen adds. She says customers will see significant service improvements as AT&T increases network capacity and coverage as a result of the merger, which Allen contends "will add 55 million customers in small towns and rural areas who today are without our most modern wireless technology."
Read ABiz Publisher Cherry Fisher May's take on how the merger will benefit the state here.
Louisiana's decision to open comments came after Sprint petitioned state officials to investigate the merger, Wireless Week reported in May.
Read more about Arizona's nod to the deal here.