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AT&T and Sprint Respond to DOJ’s Move to Block T-Mobile Deal



Earlier today, AT&T’s bid to take over T-Mobile USA hit its first roadblock as the United State Department of Justice filed an antitrust complaint in an attempt to block the deal from happening. The move, according to the DOJ, was done because it would “remove a significant competitive force from the market.” T-Mobile, of course, is one of the largest carriers in the United States.

The smoke has cleared a little bit and we now have two responses from two of the carriers that have been watching this deal the closest. AT&T and Sprint. AT&T of course wants the deal to go through. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have cited a spectrum crisis as one of the main reasons it wants to buy up its competitor. Sprint, on the other hand, has argued that it would destroy competition in the mobile arena.


First, let’s hear from AT&T who is none too pleased about what the Department of Justice has done today:

We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.

We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.

At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision and the facts are clear. This merger will:

· Help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.
· Allow AT&T to expand 4G mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;
· Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.

We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court.

And now, for Sprint, who couldn’t be happier about the move:

The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers’ interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision – one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.

While the Department of Justice’s move is certainly a significant hurdle that AT&T is now facing, the deal is far from dead. Just be prepared to hear about a lot of maneuvering in court in the near future.



  1. Enoel69

    08/31/2011 at 7:55 pm

    Which carrier was recently rated as the worst among the big four networks…if u know the answer then todays decision by DOJ and partly by FCC says it all. The bigger picture is…the four major carriers operating in our mobile space ensures a vibrant competitive and innovative environment for all.

  2. Flux

    08/31/2011 at 9:27 pm

    My hunch is that the Gov is leveraging for some “privacy cooperation” concessions they want from the new entity.  These things are rarely decided with the best interests of the consumer in mind.  It’s all lobbyists and hand greasing that decideds these “legal” issues. 

    One realistic scenario is the gov wants a certain, more intrusive level of cooperation in supplying customers private info.  AT&T has already been exposed in allowing NSA to create numerous NSA secured rooms in their data hubs which filter and monitor all internet data and communication passing through said hubs.  A little-known company called Narus Systems makes the packet-inspection technology.  The Narus computer system is so powerful (back in 2006) that it can sort through and index completely all the books in the Library of Congress in 15 minutes. It’s a info gobbling monster! Look it up.  It’s a well known whistle blower case.

    In any event,  this merger would/will go through.  They just have to give the interested parties the power/money they want before it is approved.  I’m sure AT&T will fully cooperate and pay tribute where it is needed to the government mob.

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