AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts said merger approval should not include a stipulation that AT&T stop exclusive contracts with handset makers, arguing the company’s two-year exclusive contract with Apple was the main reason behind its smartphone success.
The deal has had its share of critics. Sprint Nextel is one of many smaller carriers arguing the merger will further monopolize the telecommunications market.
But the merger also received public support. Facebook Microsoft and Silverlake Partners argue it would bring more advanced networks to a wider variety of consumers. More than 20 governors have written the Federal Communications Commission in support of the merger, and Arizona’s public utilities commission has voted in approval.