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Attorney General Reyes Applauds Decision in Sprint/T-Mobile Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN D. REYES APPLAUDS DECISION IN SPRINT/T-MOBILE CASE

Reyes took a leadership role in supporting wider consumer access to 5G Networks

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today applauded a Federal Judge’s decision to allow—not block—the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger. The ruling is in response to a lawsuit from a handful of states who claimed the merger violated antitrust laws. But this week’s ruling cites a Justice Department settlement that makes Dish “well poised to become a fourth Mobile Network Operator (MNO) in the market, and its extensive preparations and regulatory remedies indicate that it can sufficiently replace Sprint’s competitive impact.” In addition, the ruling points out that in the current marketplace, Sprint was unlikely to be a viable fourth competitor if the merger wasn’t allowed.

“While many other states looked to block this merger, Utah saw the benefits to consumers, businesses, the marketplace and US competitive advantage in 5G. Early on, I took the lead in this effort because I also recognized this merger was crucial for rural Utah,” Attorney General Reyes said. “There are many parts of our state which don’t have high-quality mobile and internet access, which 5G technology will provide. Judge Marrero’s ruling validates not only Utah’s position but also the arguments of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.”

Reyes continued: “This merger makes sense from all sides. Beyond critical rural development, this deal protects America by keeping certain foreign players from acquiring a weakened Sprint. In terms of market balance, the new, combined entity will still be third in market share behind the two most dominant players. But the merger gives the new entity a fighting chance to develop 5G and compete with AT&T and Verizon long-term and in a serious way. And with the addition of Dish, there is no net loss in the number of market players. Prices, products and services will be more competitive and states like Utah will be much better served as a result.”

This week, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused a request from a minority of state attorneys general to block T-Mobile’s proposed acquisition of Sprint. The ruling concludes the trial in New York v. Deutsche Telekom.

The department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on July 26, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia along with a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the department’s competitive concerns. The attorneys general for the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas have each joined in this proposed settlement. That proposed settlement, along with the United States’ motion to enter final judgment, is pending before Judge Kelly in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The FCC also approved the transaction after a thorough examination, with certain commitments as a condition of approval.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint prepaid, to Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider. The proposed settlement also provides for a divestiture of substantial spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available for divestiture to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish transitions the business and builds out its 5G network.

T-Mobile US Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. In 2018, T-Mobile posted revenues of more than $43 billion. Deutsche Telekom AG, a German corporation headquartered in Bonn, Germany, is the controlling shareholder of T-Mobile US Inc.

Sprint Corporation is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2018, its posted revenue was over $32 billion. Sprint is controlled by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

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*This release includes excerpts from the Department of Justice for background information.

State AGs, Department of Justice Meet to Discuss Google Probe

February 5, 2020

Yesterday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined the U.S. Department of Justice and fellow attorneys general to discuss coordinating efforts in the Google probe, which includes a bipartisan group of the nation’s attorneys general.

This follows the Department of Justice’s announcement in July 2019 that it was opening a broad antitrust investigation into “market-leading online platforms” – including Facebook, Amazon, and Google – and the September 2019 announcement by nearly all state attorneys general on plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets.

“We’re working well together and trying to make sure that there aren’t redundancies,” told Reuters outside the Justice Department. “We’re hoping to go as quickly as we possibly can but I don’t have a specific timetable.”

Read more here.

AG Reyes Joins Department of Justice’s Summit on Combating Human Trafficking

January 14, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. — Utah actively works with other states and the Department of Justice to fight the onslaught of human trafficking-related issues that occur every day. Today, the Department of Justice hosted a Summit on Combating Human Trafficking where Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes addressed the cooperation that is necessary in order to fight violations of human rights that occur both behind closed doors and in public.

States like Utah are leading the charge to arrest the perpetrators of heinous crimes like slavery, sexual exploitation, child labor, forced labor, debt bondage and forced marriage. At the conference, Attorney General Reyes addressed his work with the legislature to change state laws in order to deal with these crimes. He outlined ways that the Attorney General’s Office partners with various state service organizations to help people get out of these desperate situations.

This work is extremely difficult and continuous. With financial assistance in the form of grant funding provided by the Department of Justice, the Utah Attorney General’s office is able to devote significant resources to investigating and prosecuting these crimes.

In 2019, there were several trafficking arrests and prosecutions, most notably: Joseph Moore, who was sentenced to two terms of five years up to life in prison for sex trafficking a 16-year-old child and exploiting his own adult daughter for prostitution. Moore was convicted of Human Trafficking, Aggravated Exploitation of Prostitution Involving a Child, and Exploitation of Prostitution, after a three-day jury trial

Also last year, James Savage Brown was convicted and sentenced to the maximum sentence on each of eight counts of human trafficking-related charges included Aggravated Human Trafficking, Aggravated Kidnapping, Rape, Forcible Sodomy, Aggravated Exploitation of Prostitution and Tampering with a witness.

The value of the partnerships with other states and the Department of Justice cannot be overstated. The crimes are heinous, and the perpetrators are elusive. We fully pledge to continue to investigate these cases and prosecute those involved to the fullest extent of the law.

2020 Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

January 2, 2020

The Utah Attorney General’s Office invites fifth graders to participate in the 2020 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest.

The National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest is a nationwide contest hosted by the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, designed to promote awareness among teachers, parents/guardians, and children and engage them in discussions about safety.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office will select a winner on the state level who will be honored in a ceremony with Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and will receive a certificate from the Department of Justice. Their poster will then be submitted to the national judging competition.

The national winner will win a trip for themselves, their parents, and their teacher to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Missing Children‛s Day Ceremony on May 20, 2020.

Contest Rules

  1. Applicants must be in the fifth grade.
  2. Artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. This phrase must appear somewhere on the poster.
  3. The theme may be depicted in the student‛s artwork through one, or a combination of, illustrations (e.g., signs and symbols, people, abstract, industry, wildlife) and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels. Digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.
  4. The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.
  5. The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either typed or written legibly.

Judging Criteria:

  1. Complete contest rules must be followed at all levels of the competition. Incomplete packages and incorrectly sized posters will not be eligible for judging.
  2. Artwork will be judged on:
    a. Creativity
    b. Reflection of the contest theme
    c. Originality in design
  3. Written applications will be judged on:
    a. Comprehension of the theme
    b. Clarity
    c. Grammar and syntax appropriate to the fifth-grade level

To participate, posters should be mailed or dropped off to:

Utah Attorney General’s Office
Attn: Michelle Busch-Upwall
5272 College Dr., Ste. 200
Murray, UT 84123

All entries from the State of Utah must be submitted to the address above by February 21, 2020.

The application can be found below:

The contest packet, including contact information and fact sheet, can be found here:

Utah Attorney General Reyes: The T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Will Benefit Rural Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2019



UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL REYES: THE T-MOBILE/SPRINT MERGER WILL BENEFIT RURAL UTAH
AG Reyes underscores the merger’s benefits for competition, rural broadband, and American 5G leadership

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today released the following statement regarding the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint:


“I continue to strongly support the T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Since the companies first announced this combination, they have made a compelling case that it will substantially increase competition in the wireless marketplace, accelerate rural broadband deployment, and boost American 5G leadership—resulting in better quality at lower prices, expanded access to the digital economy for underserved Americans, and greater technological competitiveness with China, among other benefits.
 
“With the commitments the companies have made to the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, the case for the merger has become even more compelling. Notably, the companies have committed to accelerate New T-Mobile’s 5G build-out plans in rural areas to cover 85% of rural Americans within three years and 90% within six years. Without the merger, rural residents in Utah and across the country could need to wait far longer to get the broadband access they so desperately deserve.
 
“In addition, the merger and accompanying divestiture to DISH would further expand output by ensuring that large amounts of currently unused or underused spectrum are made available to American consumers in the form of high-quality 5G networks.
 
“Finally, this fortifies the domestic telecom market against unnecessary intrusion by other global players looking to acquire weakened US entities. This merger makes America stronger.”

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Utah AG Partners with DOJ, Sister-States in National Takedown on Tech Support Scams

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2019

 

UTAH AG PARTNERS WITH DOJ, SISTER-STATES IN NATIONAL TAKEDOWN ON TECH SUPPORT SCAMS

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced the Utah Attorney General’s Office is partnering with sister-states and the DOJ as part of a nationwide crackdown on fraudsters who try to trick consumers into buying costly tech support and repair services.
 
Utah, in coordination with attorneys general from across the country through the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), has joined the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other regulators to combat tech support scams. As part of this effort, NAAG and the Department of Justice announced a sweep of elder fraud cases and focused particular attention on tech support scams as a major threat to senior citizens. 
 
These scams work in similar ways. Scammers use phone calls and online ads resembling security alerts from major technology companies to trick consumers into contacting the operators of these schemes and providing access to the consumers’ computers. The scammers will claim consumers’ computers are infected with viruses or experiencing other problems. They then try to pressure consumers into buying unnecessary computer repair services, service plans, anti-virus protection or software, and other products and services.
 
“We are sending a clear message to scammers that Utah will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these types of frauds. Locally, we are fortunate to partner with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection on the front line of stopping scammers,” said Attorney General Reyes.

In Utah, the Utah Attorney General’s Office collaborated with partners in the tech world regarding computer fraud schemes targeting consumers in Utah. Tech company representatives informed investigators that fraudulent businesses, claiming to be affiliated with computer support companies, were contacting computer users via pop-ups and malware, informing them that multiple viruses were found on their computer when in fact, their computers were fine. These criminals would then take over the consumers computer and steal personal information, placing viruses and malware on the computers and then charging to fix the problems.
 
During the joint investigation, Attorney General Investigators identified multiple businesses using this fraud scheme. Covert investigative methods were utilized by this team revealing the location of these illegitimate businesses. In some cases, our partners had global resources available to contact and shut down these schemes.
 
Attorneys general through the National Association of Attorneys General, the Department of Justice, and the FTC worked for more than a year on the initiative. In addition to Utah, other state participants included Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington D.C.

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NOTES:

  1. NAAG press release: https://www.naag.org/naag/media/naag-news/state-attorneys-general-join-federal-agencies-in-tech-support-scam-sweep.php
  2. Department of Justice press release: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-coordinates-largest-ever-nationwide-elder-fraud-sweep-0

Upcoming: National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

January 29, 2019

The National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest is a nationwide contest, hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), designed to promote awareness among teachers, parents/guardians, and children and engage them in discussions about safety.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office invites fifth graders to participate in the contest with an annual theme of “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. Participants must submit their poster to the State Contest Manager by February 25th, at which time a winner will be chosen to represent Utah in the national judging competition and will receive a national award certificate from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The national winner, with his/her teacher, parents/guardians, and the state manager, will be invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in the DOJ’s National Missing Children’s Day Ceremony on May 22nd.

Contest rules and the application can be found in the information packet.

Posters and applications are due to the State Contest Manager by February 25th.


Utah State Contact:

Ms. Michelle Busch-Upwall Utah Attorney General’s Office 801-281-1245
mbusch-upwall@agutah.gov

Dept. of Justice hosts discussion on tech companies with state AGs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2018

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN D. REYES JOINS U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISCUSS TECH COMPANIES
State attorneys general share consumer protection concerns on tech company platforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, eight other state attorneys general, and representatives from five state attorneys general offices at the Department of Justice to discuss competition, free exchange of ideas, and consumer protection surrounding tech company platforms.

AG Reyes shared the following statement after the meeting concluded:

Today’s meeting was part of a critical, ongoing dialogue on protecting consumers and competition in the technology sector without unnecessarily burdening innovation or investment. State AGs have grappled with these issues for years. Having a federal perspective was welcome. The meeting was bipartisan. It was productive. We compared notes with our federal partners about a range of issues including cybersecurity, privacy, data gathering, and monetization of personal information by members of the tech community.

We shared ideas and concerns about the impact of dominant market players on competition and how they may be unfairly leveraging their position for competitive advantage. We agreed that at the federal and state level, we are both seeking robust protection of consumers and markets through responsible regulation and disciplined enforcement.

Utah is a rapidly expanding innovation hub. As such, consumer protection, privacy, and a level playing field in the tech ecosystem are of utmost concern to me and the Utah AG Office. I want to thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his team at the U.S. Department of Justice for inviting us to collaborate in addressing issues crucial to the future of our nation.

Utah joined attorneys general from Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia, as well as representatives from the Office of the Attorney General in Arkansas, Arizona, Missouri, Texas, and Washington.

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Photo by Marvin Meyer

Utah Attorney General's Office

Utah Joins Lawsuit Challenging DOE, DOJ “Dear Colleague” Letter on Bathroom & Locker Room Rules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY  –   On May 13, 2016, the Obama Administration issued a “significant guidance” letter, also commonly known as a “Dear Colleague” letter.  After multiple efforts to obtain clarification from the Departments of Justice and Education failed to receive a response, a coalition of states sued. The lawsuit argues that the “Dear Colleague” letter has constitutional and statutory flaws, including improper rulemaking and failure to provide clear notice, among others, and if the Administration is using the Dear Colleague as new law, then it is legally deficient. 

On joining the lawsuit, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement:

Every child is an individual.  The recent “Dear Colleague” letter from the US Department of Justice and Department of Education attempts to apply a single solution to all individuals without regard for the input of parents, schools, and community leaders. The federal government’s ‘one size fits all’ mandate, disconnected from the needs of Utah schools, disrespects individuals and ignores the law.

As such, Utah has joined an action with states across the country to clarify issues raised by the DOJ and DOE and to prevent the federal government from infringing on the role of states, local school districts or Congress.  Multiple states in good faith sought clarification from the DOJ and DOE, but the silence from the federal government has resulted in an environment of confusion for educators and administrators. The lawsuit will identify whether states and local school boards remain free to find solutions on a case-by-case basis, suited to the needs of individual families.

This case is not really about bathrooms, but about executive branch overreach.  If the “Dear Colleague” letter was intended to mandate a new interpretation of the law, the lawsuit challenges that adaptation as legally improper.  When a presidential administration wishes to change the law, it must do so appropriately. This Administration could have worked with Congress. It could have challenged the constitutionality of a state or local board policy. Or it could have taken proper steps under the Administrative Procedures Act to provide notice and solicit comment from the public, including states, school boards and families.  Process has a purpose.

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