Sprint Sues to Halt Merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA
Less than a week after the U.S. government moved to block the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, Sprint today announced that it too has filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the merger on antitrust grounds.
The lawsuit names AT&T, AT&T Mobility, Deutsche Telekom, and T-Mobile, and has been filed as a related case to the U.S. government's own complaint filed last week.
“Sprint opposes AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile,” said Susan Z. Haller, vice president-Litigation, Sprint. “With today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.”
Sprint’s lawsuit focuses on the competitive and consumer harms which would result from a takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T. The proposed takeover would:
- Harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.
- Entrench the duopoly control of AT&T and Verizon, the two "Ma Bell" descendants, of the almost one-quarter of a trillion dollar wireless market. As a result of the transaction, AT&T and Verizon would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.
- Harm Sprint and the other independent wireless carriers. If the transaction were to be allowed, a combined AT&T and T-Mobile would have the ability to use its control over backhaul, roaming and spectrum, and its increased market position to exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition.
AT&T has touted the proposed merger as a way to provide 4G LTE service to a greater number of customers than possible under current arrangements, utilizing T-Mobile's wireless spectrum to help deploy the new technology. The company has also argued that the merger would result in lower prices and better service while also committing to bring thousands of call center jobs back to the United States and divesting of any portions of T-Mobile USA required in order to satisfy concerns over the deal.