AT&T issues response to Department of Justice suit, says removal of T-Mobile won't hurt consumers

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: September 9, 2011

AT&T logo

Just over a week ago we saw the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit in an attempt to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, and today AT&T officially filed a response to the DOJ complaint. In its filing, AT&T says that the Justice Department has failed to acknowledge the good that'll come of the deal and that it hasn't accurately described how fierce the wireless industry is. The carrier says that prices continue to fall and that there is stiff competition not only from the likes of Verizon and Sprint but also from "upstarts" like MetroPCS and Cricket.

Next AT&T brought T-Mobile up in its response, claiming that the removal of the No. 4 carrier from the market won't cause any harm to consumers. AT&T says that  despite growing demand, T-Mobile has been losing customers for the past two years and that there's no reason to expect that to change if T-Mobile doesn't have "the spectrum to deploy a 4G LTE network such as that deployed by the other carriers." AT&T also argued against the claims that T-Mobile offers competitive pricing, saying instead that T-Mobile is "stuck in the middle" between more expensive carriers like Verizon and cheaper ones like MetroPCS.

Finally, AT&T uses its response to try and paint a picture showing what its life without T-Mobile may be like. The carrier claims that if the merger doesn't go through, it'll continue to see capacity restraints, innovation will be stunted, and millions will be without faster and higher quality service.

Earlier this week it was revealed that a hearing on the case between the Department of Justice and AT&T/Deutsche Telekom been set for September 21st. When the DOJ first filed suit to try and block the AT&T-Mobile deal, many felt that the merger's climb to approval had gotten quite a bit more difficult. However, both parties have reportedly expressed an interest in negotiating a deal. Obviously there's a lot still up in the air here, but we'll be sure to bring you more on the case as we get it. In the mean time, go ahead and drop your thoughts on AT&T's response to the DOJ in the comments below.

Via CNET, FierceWireless, AT&T filing (PDF)