States Join DOJ to Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

Seven state attorneys general have joined the Department of Justice in a lawsuit to block AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile USA.

Those chief legal officers involved in the lawsuit represent the states of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington.

The development exerts further pressure on AT&T, which must defend itself against government claims in federal court that its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile would significantly harm competition in the U.S. wireless market.

This proposed merger would stifle competition in markets that are crucial to New Yorks consumers and businesses, while reducing access to low-cost options and the newest broadband-based technologies,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement.

AT&T has said it intends to fight the Department of Justice in court, but reports also have surfaced that the company is prepared to make concessions in order to address concerns that the deal is anti-competitive and planned to present a proposed solution to the government.

The merger between Dallas-based AT&T and Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile would make AT&T the largest wireless provider in the country with more than 132 million customers based on second-quarter results.

Earlier this month, AT&T’s smaller rival, Sprint Nextel, announced filing a suit to block the merger as a related case to the DOJ’s action.


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