DOJ Sues to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

 Here's a victory for consumers from the US Department of Justice, which has sued to block the planned AT&T merger with/ takeover of T-Mobile on the grounds that it violates anti-trust regulations.

From Bloomberg, which broke the story this morning:


The U.S. government sued to block AT&T Inc. (T)’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc., saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market. AT&T shares fell as much as 5 percent.

In the complaint filed today in federal court in Washington, the U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law. The U.S. also asked for a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said in its filing.

At Daily Kos, David Nir writesthat this a new strength of purpose from the Obama DOJ: "if by any chance this signals a new posture for the DoJ in this and other arenas, it would not only be good for ordinary Americans, it would also be smart politics."

Confused by who's merging with whom and who's suing whomever else in the Telecom industry? The Wall Street Journal has a good graphic "untangling" the history of telecom mergers here.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at August 31, 2011, 6:54am

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