Some big news in the telecom world today, as the Justice Department has sued to block AT&T's $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile on antitrust grounds. This is just like in the old days, when antitrust laws were enforced.
The proposed merger was announced this spring. The new supercorporation-in-waiting would become the nation's largest wireless carrier by perhaps tens of millions of customers and, according to the suits, allow them to expand high-speed broadband to 97% of the country. The deal had also just won support from the Communications Workers of America after AT&T promised to return 5,000 call-center jobs to the United States should it go through. AT&T had already paid off other advocacy groups.
In the complaint filed today in federal court in Washington, the U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law. The U.S. also asked for a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.
"AT&T's elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market," the U.S. said in its filing.
[Images via AP]