AT&T, T-Mobile Deal Will Be Approved: Evercore's Altman

Roger Altman
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Roger Altman

Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners, told CNBC Thursday AT&T's proposed acquisition of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile will be approved by antitrust regulators.

"My own view is this is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world," said Altman, whose company is an advisor on the deal. "I don’t see any scenario where this acquisition, if completed, changes the degree to which this is a fiercely competitive business and changes the degree to which prices continue to fall."

CNBC - Ctia Wireless 2011- The Wireless Connection
CNBC - Ctia Wireless 2011- The Wireless Connection

Evercore also advised Berkshire Hathway when it bought Lubrizol, and Altman said he didn’t know former Berkshire official David Sokol had taken a stake in Lubrizol when Berkshire bought it. When that fact became public, Sokol resigned.

"I think the whole situation is unfortunate," said Altman. "I'm an admirer of Warren Buffett and Berkshire as a whole."

Sokol's resignation "briefly raises issues about Berkshire Hathaway that they don’t deserve, he said. "It wasn't Mr. Sokol’s finest hour in terms of behavior, because he’ll be fine, but Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t deserve it. It wasn’t wise."

As a former deputy Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration and a "classic centrist," Altman said President Obama is following the right course with his budget agenda as a government shutdown looms Friday.

"The President’s agenda is not a Republican or a Democrat agenda. It’s just the right agenda," he said. "Let’s hope they continue to push it. It’s addressing the most important issue facing the country and it’s a very unorthodox agenda from a Democrat.

"When we finally achieve a long-term deficit reduction program, and we will because we have no choice, no one is going to like all of it."