Seven states come to Justice Department's aid in suit against AT&T / T-Mobile deal [UPDATED]
Last month the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to try and block AT&T's acquisition T-Mobile, and today the DOJ announced that seven states have joined its crusade. The states that have joined the Justice Department include California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. The Justice Department released a statement concerning the addition:
"We have had an excellent working relationship with a number of state attorneys general and they have provided invaluable assistance throughout our investigation. We are pleased that these states have joined the department in its lawsuit."
AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile has been met with a pretty healthy amount of criticism since it was announced back in March, but the Justice Department's suit is seen as the biggest obstacle in the deal's path to approval yet. Sprint has also filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile. Last week a judge set a hearing for the DOJ's case against AT&T and T-Mobile for September 21st. Until then, you should probably buckle up your seatbelt if you haven't already, because this case seems to be getting crazier by the week.
UPDATE: Sprint has chimed in on the decision of these seven state attorneys general to side with the Department of Justice. Unsurprisingly, the carrier's pretty pleased with the move, saying that it "commends this bipartisan group of state attorneys general for joining with the U.S. Justice Department to protect consumers, competition and American jobs." The full statement from Sprint is below:
Sprint Statement on State Attorneys General Decision to Join U.S. Justice Department Lawsuit to Block AT&T’s Proposed Takeover of T-Mobile
WASHINGTON (BUSINESS WIRE), September 16, 2011 - This afternoon, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that seven state attorneys general representing California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington joined the department’s lawsuit against AT&T, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom. The Justice Department filed its amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Vonya McCann, Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) senior vice president for Government Affairs, issued the following statement:
“After a comprehensive review of the facts related to AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, seven state attorneys general have reached the same conclusion as the U.S. Department of Justice: This proposed takeover violates antitrust law and would harm consumers, competition and our nation’s economy. This is a strong stand for American consumers, and Sprint commends this bipartisan group of state attorneys general for joining with the U.S. Justice Department to protect consumers, competition and American jobs.”
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 52 million customers at the end of 2Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.