Seven states join with Justice Department in AT&T lawsuit

The Justice Department's lawsuit to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile got some help this week. The Washington Post reports that the attorney generals of seven states have now officially filed to join the lawsuit, claiming that any merger of the two wireless phone carriers would cause problems for consumers. The states that joined the lawsuit are California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The Justice Department said in a statement that the seven states "... have provided invaluable assistance throughout our investigation. Together, we will seek to protect consumers from the anti-competitive harm that would result from this proposed transaction."

The Justice Department filed its lawsuit on August 31, claiming that the proposed $39 billion merger of AT&T, the nation's largest wireless carrier, with T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier, " ... would result in tens of millions of consumers across the U.S. facing higher prices, fewer choices, and lower quality products for wireless services." AT&T responded to the lawsuit a few days later, saying, "The Department does not and cannot explain how, in the face of all these aggressive rivals, the combined AT&T/T-Mobile will have any ability or incentive to restrict output, raise prices, or slow innovation."

The next phase of this legal confrontation will happen on Wednesday, September 21. That's when U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle will hear statements from both parties in this case. It's also possible that AT&T could reach a settlement deal with the Justice Department that might involve selling off part of T-Mobile's assets to other companies.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Xbox TV still on target to launch by end of 2011

Next Story

Archos to launch new Android tablets this month

10 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I agree, should be blocked. Then again I also think many companies should be split up right now, so maybe I am just crazy.

The merger should be blocked. When one has to wait 72 hours or more to get their landline fixed, AT&T needs to get their core business in order before taking on other lines of business.

They should let it happen, but take this as an opportunity to hold ATT to conditions... Tmobile could go under and then that will be a loose situation.

I actually want this to go through, but I would not mind some conditions to be set. Then it is win win for customers.

mranderson1st said,
They should let it happen, but take this as an opportunity to hold ATT to conditions... Tmobile could go under and then that will be a loose situation.

I actually want this to go through, but I would not mind some conditions to be set. Then it is win win for customers.


not for me it isn't....i have been a tmobile customer for over 10 years was even with them when they were voicestream wireless. i dont want any part of AT&t's greedy hands touchin Tmobile. Tmobiles customer service is the best in the biz. i have heard too many complaints from friends about AT&T's customer service.
Tmobile's $49.99 unlimited talk text and data would go away under ATT&T's rule.

If this goes thru Sprint would not be able to compete

mranderson1st said,
I actually want this to go through, but I would not mind some conditions to be set. Then it is win win for customers.
There is no win for consumers with this deal. AT&T's history is one of lies and manipulation (I know, I'm an AT&T retiree). This merger will result in thousands of high-paying jobs eliminated, higher prices for consumers, less choice in the marketplace. AT&T always works for their own wallet, the shareholder and board is their ONLY concern. Consumers are a necessary evil in their mind and are always short-changed. AT&T has NEVER upheld their promises, they always find a way to weasel out. By their own leaked admission, they do not need the spectrum in order to expand and fix their network, they simply want to eliminate two competitors (T-Mobile and a weaker Sprint).

These sort of mega-mergers should be blocked. You only have to look at the shady world of banking to see the damage that mega-mergers have done. Instead what usually happens is that they spend so much time and money pursuing it that nobody can stop them.