FRANKFURT, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom is confident of selling its T-Mobile USA unit to AT&T despite an antitrust lawsuit by the Obama administration to bloc the deal, Deutsche Telekom’s chief executive told a German newspaper.
“The suit came as a surprise to everyone, for the professional world as well as both sides,” Rene Obermann told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.
“But we are pushing forward determinedly with the project and are optimistic that in the end we will be able to carry out this merger,” Obermann added.
The sale of T-mobile is likely to spur activity in the U.S. mobile phone market, Obermann said.
“It will fire up competition in the United States because it will boost network capacity and that is the basis for price competition,” he said.
“The merger creates advantages for all participants and that is why it will go through, I remain very confident of it.”
The U.S. Justice Department has sued to block AT&T’s $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile over worries it would squelch competition and innovation as well as lead to higher prices.
A key government concern is that T-Mobile, the No. 4 wireless carrier, generally costs less than other carriers so its disappearance could mean higher prices for wireless service.
T-Mobile and AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier that would vault to market leader if the sale goes through, have sought to address the government’s concerns and negotiate a settlement in which the deal could be completed.