In the latest of a string of congressional communiqués addressing the proposed union of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) took issue with recent proclamations by Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Al Franken (D-MN) against the deal, as he advised FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that, “there is at least as much evidence in the . . . record supporting the merger as opposing it.” Writing to Holder and Genachowski on Monday, Smith said the negative views expressed by Kohl and Franken in separate letters urging the FCC and DOJ to block the $39 billion transaction represent “only one side of the story.” In their letters, both Franken and Kohl noted that their opinions were largely formed by a May 11 hearing that was conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee to assess competitive and other impacts of the proposed merger. Smith--whose committee also sponsored a May 11 hearing on the deal—told Holder and Genachowski that “a congressional hearing does not provide an adequate forum for the extensive and detailed analysis that a merger of this magnitude warrants.” Though stopping short of endorsing the merger, Smith pointed out various potential benefits of the deal that include job creation, spectrum efficiency, improved service and innovation, and AT&T’s pledge to expand its LTE wireless broadband network to 97% of the U.S. population. While arguing that the final determination should be left to agencies with the “expertise and the time to thoroughly study all the evidence of the merger’s likely effects, including nonpublic evidence unavailable to Congress,” Smith urged the FCC and DOJ to “carefully weigh all of the evidence, including the many benefits of this transaction, before coming to a conclusion.”