This Washington

Inslee and McKenna Agree on Something

By Erica C. Barnett August 31, 2011

Gubernatorial rivals US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1) and Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna agree on one thing, at least: The recently scuttled merger between Bellevue-based T-Mobile and AT&T. Both agree the merger, in its proposed form, would be bad for Washington.

In a statement, Inslee said, “In these difficult economic times, the last thing Washingtonians need are more layoffs, increases in their wireless bills and fewer choices for wireless service.  The Department of Justice clearly shares some of my concerns.  It is appropriate to ensure that consumers are not harmed by this merger, and jobs are not needlessly lost.  I’ve asked AT&T to answer some pertinent questions about the merger, and thus far I have not been satisfied with their responses.”

Not to be outdone, McKenna released his own statement today, saying, "We are concerned about losing T-Mobile as an innovative competitor. T-Mobile was the first to use the Android system on its phones, it has offered unlimited pricing and is in other ways a strong competitor. ... We are concerned about losing T-Mobile’s higher customer service levels. AT&T does not have the best reputation for customer service and is not located in our area.

“We will continue our investigation and will continue to coordinate with our state colleagues and DOJ. We expect to be involved in any conversations with the parties about any possible resolution, or barring that expect to be working with DOJ to prepare for trial."

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