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AT&T sues customers trying to block T-Mobile takeover

Company says plaintiffs firms are circumventing Supreme Court ruling

In a move that will likely lead to lost customers, AT&T Inc. has filed eight lawsuits against two plaintiffs firms—Bursor & Fisher and Faruqi & Faruqi—for encouraging AT&T customers to file claims against the company in an attempt to block its $39 billion merger with T-Mobile.

Bursor & Fisher, which launched a “Fight the Merger” campaign in July, has rallied plaintiffs to file lawsuits alleging AT&T’s deal with T-Mobile would violate antitrust and anti-competition laws. According to Reuters, the firm has filed 26 arbitration demands and more than 900 notices of dispute on behalf of AT&T customers.

AT&T’s countersuits claim that the plaintiffs firms are attempting to circumvent the Supreme Court’s April ruling in AT&T v. Concepcion, in which the court decided that AT&T customers are bound to mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts with the company. AT&T is accusing the plaintiffs firms of filing thousands of individual arbitration claims in an attempt to be successful with at least one arbitrator who will block the company’s merger with T-Mobile. Additionally, the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to block the deal instead of damages.

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