U.S. antitrust official defends AT&T; decision
The Justice Department’s top antitrust official defended the agency’s unconditional approval of AT&T;'s $82-billion buyout of BellSouth Corp. as “pretty straightforward” despite criticism from Democratic regulators and lawmakers.
“We’re living a very different world than we were in the 1980s,” Assistant Atty. Gen. Thomas O. Barnett said. “The mere size of a company in general doesn’t tell you whether a merger is going to harm consumer welfare.”