AT&T asks judge to dismiss competitors’ lawsuits over T-Mobile deal

Company says Sprint and Cellular South haven’t proved acquisition is anti-competitive

Last week wireless carrier AT&T Inc. asked a federal judge to dismiss Sprint Nextel Corp.’s and Cellular South Inc.’s lawsuits alleging its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc. would be anti-competitive.

According to AT&T, Sprint and Cellular South—which are the third- and ninth-largest wireless carriers in terms of customers, respectively—failed to prove that the T-Mobile deal would hurt competition among wireless carriers. AT&T contends that the deal will enhance competition and lead to better, cheaper services for consumers.

“What is good for consumers is bad for Sprint, and that is why Sprint has filed suit,” AT&T said in its court filing in the Sprint case.

Additionally, AT&T says that Mississippi-based Cellular South, which changed its name to C Spire Wireless at the end of September, proposed an agreement to prohibit competition in Mississippi. “This inappropriate proposal confirms that what Cellular South fears is competition, not lack of competition,” AT&T said in its court filing in the Cellular South case.

Sprint and Cellular South sued AT&T on Sept. 6 and Sept. 19, respectively. The Justice Department also filed a lawsuit on Aug. 31 challenging AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.

Ashley Post

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