AT&T Wants Sprint Booted From Antitrust Suit

AT&T Inc. on Monday was expected to ask a federal judge to dismiss Sprint Nextel Corps antitrust lawsuit, which seeks to block AT&Ts $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Dallas-based AT&T was expected to argue that Sprint, as a rival, had no right under antitrust law to bring the suit and Sprints claims that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger would hurt its business are unfounded, Bloomberg reported.

A court order denying AT&Ts request could benefit the U.S. Department of Justice, which wants Sprint in the antitrust case. In court papers, the DOJ has said Sprint possesses the technological and business expertise” to analyze the arguments and evidence that AT&T presents, according to Bloomberg.

The DOJ sued AT&T over the summer to block its acquisition of T-Mobile USA, and several others also filed legal challenges in order to thwart the deal, including Sprint.

Critics of the merger contend the transaction violates Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act.

Earlier this year, in a 377-page document filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Sprint argued that the merger would allow just two operators AT&T and Verizon Wireless to control most of the U.S. wireless market.

In the DOJs case against AT&T, a trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 13.  

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