AT&T Sues to Prevent Merger-Related Customer Arbitration
AT&T has responded to a brewing lawsuit by filing litigation of its own. A law firm called Bursor & Fisher has convinced more than 1,000 AT&T customers to participate in a lawsuit aiming to halt AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. The law firm recently filed eight arbitration cases in several states on behalf of these customers. AT&T has responded in each of the eight cases, filing an opposing federal lawsuit. AT&T says that the arbitration clause in customer contracts precludes this type of legal action. "The bottom line here is an arbitrator has no authority to block the merger or affect the merger process in any way," said AT&T in a statement sent to AllThingsD. "AT&T's arbitration agreement with our customers - recently upheld by the Supreme Court - allows individual relief for individual claims. Bursor & Fisher is seeking class-wide relief wrapped in the guise of individual arbitration proceedings, which is specifically prohibited by AT&T's arbitration agreement. Accordingly, the claims are completely without merit. We have filed suit in order to stop this abusive action." AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile is still under review by the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice.
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