7 States Pile On Lawsuit to Stop AT&T/T-Mobile Deal
Seven U.S. states have officially joined the Department of Justice's lawsuit against AT&T, which hopes to prevent it from acquiring T-Mobile. The states include California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. In a statement the Justice Department said, "We have had an excellent working relationship with a number of state attorneys general and they have provided invaluable assistance throughout our investigation. We are pleased that these states have joined the department in its lawsuit." The Justice Department filed its lawsuit on August 31. It believes the merger would create an anti-competitive environment in the wireless industry, consolidating too much power in just two companies. A preliminary date for the lawsuit is scheduled for September 21, and the judge overseeing the lawsuit has already indicated that all the parties involved should come prepared to negotiate a settlement. The Federal Communications Commission is still conducting its own review of the proposal. AT&T responded this afternoon with a statement, "It is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings. At the same time, we appreciate that 11 state attorneys general and hundreds of other local, state and federal officials are publicly supportive of our merger. We will continue to seek an expedited hearing on the DOJ’s complaint. On a parallel path, we have been and remain interested in a solution that addresses the DOJ’s issues with the T-Mobile merger."
This afternoon, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that seven state attorneys general representing California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington joined the department’s lawsuit against AT&T, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom. The Justice Department filed its amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Vonya McCann, Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) senior vice president for Government Affairs, issued the following statement:
"After a comprehensive review of the facts related to AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, seven state attorneys general have reached the same conclusion as the U.S. Department of Justice: This proposed takeover violates antitrust law and would harm consumers, competition and our nation’s economy. This is a strong stand for American consumers, and Sprint commends this bipartisan group of state attorneys general for joining with the U.S. Justice Department to protect consumers, competition and American jobs."
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