Government sues to prevent acquisition of T-Mobile

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 12:56pm

The federal government has taken a big step to stop AT&T's move to buy T-Mobile.

The Justice Department filed suit to block the $39 billion deal Wednesday, saying a combination of the two wireless carriers would hurt consumers.

"Any way you look at this transaction, it is anti-competitive," said acting Assistant Attorney General Sharon Pozen.

AT&T and T-Mobile, along with Verizon and Sprint, already control 90 percent of the country's mobile wireless connections.

Losing one of those four major players is what worries the government.

"Competition among the remaining competitors on all dimensions, including price, quality and
innovation would be diminished," said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.

The original deal would push AT&T past Verizon as the country's largest mobile wireless carrier with Sprint a distant third.

The government has been reviewing the deal since it was announced in March, and left the door open to negotiations.

AT&T says it plans to push for an expedited court hearing on the matter.

The lawsuit announcement came hours after AT&T announced it would bring back 5,000 call center jobs from overseas if the deal was approved.

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