On the conclusion of the Tunney Act-based case challenging the Justice Departments 2005 approval of the SBC-AT&T and Verizon-MCI mergers that opponents said harm the public interest
The government need not prove that the settlements will perfectly remedy the alleged antitrust harms; it need only provide a factual basis for concluding that the settlements are reasonably adequate remedies for the alleged harms.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia federal judge
The decision confirms that the settlements negotiated by the department are in the public interest by remedying the harms to consumers that the department had concluded would otherwise have resulted from these mergers.
Thomas O. Barnett, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Departments antitrust division
By undertaking a thorough review of the merger consent decrees, Judge Sullivan sent a clear message that the Justice Department will be held accountable for its actions. Although the decision did not go our way, we are proud that we made it clear that when powerful political and economic interests coalesce against consumers and competitors, COMPTEL will not let them get away with it without challenge.
Jonathan Lee, COMPTEL general counsel
We were always confident that after the courts review of the record it would conclude that the consent decree is in the public interest. We appreciate Judge Sullivans considered decision.
Michael Balmoris, AT&T spokesman