A federal court on Sunday ruled that Sprint Nextel Corp. must release to AT&T updated internal documents that are relevant to AT&T's defense against a lawsuit seeking to block its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc., according to a report.
Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless provider, must turn over all documents requested by AT&T that it hasn't already given the U.S. Department of Justice, including data on its recent addition of the iPhone, Bloomberg reported, citing a ruling from U.S. Special Master Richard Levie.
Such information could provide AT&T ammunition in support of its position that its acquisition of T-Mobile USA won't significantly harm competition in the U.S. wireless market.
"AT&T is entitled to discover what effect the iPhone and other events of the past few months have had on Sprint's relevant market share, a part of the government's" case, Bloomberg quoted Levie in the court ruling.
Dallas-based AT&T must defend itself against the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit, and a federal judge last week allowed Sprint and C Spire Wireless – formerly known as Cellular South – to continue to pursue certain claims in separate lawsuits against the merger.
The Justice Department's suit against AT&T is scheduled to go to trial in February, although it's possible AT&T could reach a settlement before that time.