* Republicans request meeting with DOJ, FCC about merger
* Want to know about process that led to DOJ suit
* Concerned about impact on jobs, economy
By Jasmin Melvin
WASHINGTON, Sept 9 Top Republicans in the House
Energy and Commerce Committee want more information on why
regulators are not supporting AT&T Inc's (T.N) $39 billion bid
for Deutsche Telekom AG's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile USA.
The Justice Department went to court last week to block the
deal, and the Federal Communications Commission said it also
had concerns about the deal's impact on competition.
In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and
Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, Republican
legislators requested a bipartisan briefing on what went into
the decision to challenge the merger and whether the agencies
considered the impact on jobs and economic growth.
Signed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred
Upton, House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Chairman Greg Walden and committee Chairman Emeritus Joe
Barton, the letter asked for a meeting within the next two
"It is clear that this is a complex transaction and it is
important that government officials reserve judgment until all
of the facts have come to light," the letter said.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole said at a briefing on
Aug. 31 that the merger would reduce competition in the
wireless market on three levels: price, quality and
Lawmakers have no direct role in reviewing the merger that
was proposed in March, but Congress, through oversight of the
regulators and by holding hearings, can influence public
If approved as proposed, the merger would concentrate 80
percent of the U.S. wireless market in just two companies:
AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon
Communications Inc (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L).
AT&T argues the deal will help it provide faster service to
more customers. Critics charge that less competition will
increase prices and limit consumer choice.
The FCC had no comment, while DOJ could not immediately be
reached for comment.
(Reporting by Jasmin Melvin; editing by Andre Grenon)