Presidential Candidate Rick Perry Backs AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in May endorsing the proposed merger between telecommunications companies T-Mobile and AT&T. On Wednesday the Justice Department went to court to block the merger. The National Journal reports that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates is backing the proposed AT&T – T-Mobile merger. In a letter dated May 25, Texas Governor and Republican presidential Candidate Rick Perry sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging Chairman Julius Genachowski and the other commissioners to approve the AT&T and T-Mobile merger.

"I believe that this merger will continue to provide for great consumer choice, offer a wide range of service options, and spur continued innovation," Perry wrote. "The future rests in wireless broadband, and the federal government's swift approval of the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile would send a strong signal to employers, consumers, and states that our federal government is serious about meeting the communication and technology needs of Texans and all Americans."

Perry added that "the commitment of at least an additional $8 billion in private investment over seven years as a result of this merger" was a reason for his support.

This comes as no surprise considering that, according to the National Journal (citing the Texas Ethics Commission’s numbers on Perry); AT&T's political action committee has given the candidate $500,000 over the past decade.

Naturally Democrats are jumping on this news.

“This is just one more example of Rick Perry’s pay-to-play network that represents the same old type of lobbyist-first politics. He might try to pretend to be some outsider, but as his record continues to come to light, the American people will see right through his facade,” said Ty Matsdorf, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research organization.

Mark Miner, a spokesperson for the candidate, defended the Governor's actions.

"AT&T is a highly regarded Texas-based company, creating thousands of good American jobs and providing critical communications services worldwide," Miner said in a statement to National Journal. "Gov. Perry believes the combination of the two telecom companies will be good for consumers, good for technology innovation, and good for American job creation."

Perry has been pro-business throughout his public service as a Texas Governor, particularly with the tech and entertainment industry, and is the only presidential candidate to ever deliver a keynote address at a major gaming event. He is at least well-respected by the ESA, who (no doubt) appreciate his state's incentives for the interactive entertainment industry.

Source: National Journal

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