Sprint suit against AT&T/T-Mobile deal allowed

The U.S. Department of Justice and some state attorneys general have opposed the deal in the same court

A judge in the U.S. on Wednesday allowed parts of C Spire Wireless and Sprint Nextel's lawsuits against AT&T's proposed US$39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

AT&T and T-Mobile had moved for dismissal of the lawsuits arguing that the complaints by Sprint and C Spire, formerly Cellular South, failed to adequately allege that the merger would cause them "antitrust injury".

The decision by District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia could complicate AT&T's defense of the deal which has been already opposed by the U.S. government.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in August to block AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile, saying that the deal would significantly reduce competition, increase prices and stifle innovation. Seven state attorneys general have joined the lawsuit. That case goes on trial in February before Judge Huvelle.

Where private plaintiffs have successfully pleaded antitrust injury, the fact that they are defendants' competitors is no bar, Judge Huvelle said before allowing Sprint and C Spire to proceed with their claim that the merger would make it difficult for them to acquire wireless devices. The companies had claimed that after the merger AT&T and Verizon would be in a better position to get exclusive handset deals, while foreclosing their access to the most innovative handsets and raise their costs.

The Judge also allowed C Spire to proceed with its complaint that the merger would have implications on the market for roaming services. As roaming is a necessary input for C Spire, its concern that the removal of T-Mobile from the marketplace would leave only AT&T as a potential GSM roaming partner might be enough to demonstrate its antitrust standing, Judge Huvelle said.

The court has ensured that it receives a fair hearing, Sprint said in a statement after Judge Huvelle's decision. C Spire said it was pleased to get the opportunity to continue its fight for American consumers, and for the principles of competition and innovation that should drive the wireless industry. AT&T and T-Mobile could not be immediately reached for comment.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telephonybusiness issuesU.S. Department of Justiceantitrusttelecommunicationat&tlegalsprint nextelC SpireT-Mobile USAMergers and acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?