Last week, the United States Department of Justice filed a suit in an attempt to block AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile and today, Sprint – a vocal opponent of the deal – has also filed suit in an effort to block the proposed deal from going through. The lawsuit was filed in the District of Columbia and Sprint’s case is directly related to the Department of Justice’s suit.
Sprint makes it very clear that it opposes the deal and it states that the legal action that it has taken today is on the “behalf of consumers and competition” and that it expects “to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.”
In addition, Sprint outlines several ‘competitive and consumer harms’ that might come as a result of the deal. These include:
- Harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.
- Entrench the duopoly control of AT&T and Verizon, the two “Ma Bell” descendants, of the almost one-quarter of a trillion dollar wireless market. As a result of the transaction, AT&T and Verizon would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.
- Harm Sprint and the other independent wireless carriers. If the transaction were to be allowed, a combined AT&T and T-Mobile would have the ability to use its control over backhaul, roaming and spectrum, and its increased market position to exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition.
So, after lots of talk, Sprint has finally taken action and it has thrown another roadblock in AT&T’s path and means that a resolution just go further away.
We should see this drag out in the court system for quite some time as its very obvious that there are some major players that don’t want to see this deal go through.