Sprint jumps onboard with DOJ; files suit against AT&T, T-Mobile

Sprint pulls out some more punches against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger with a lawsuit.

Sprint is stepping up its game in its fight against the AT&T and T-Mobile merger with a fresh lawsuit. More specifically, Sprint has filed suit against AT&T, Inc., AT&T Mobility, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile hoping to block the proposed acquisition as a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act.

Although most of Sprint's arguments against the merger are fairly evident now after months of campaigning, here are the highlights in this suit:

  • U.S. consumers would suffer as AT&T and Verizon would evolve into a "duopoly" and control more than three-quarters of the market and 90 percent of the profits
  • The merger (or "takeover" depending on which side you're on) would drive up prices and drive down innovation
  • Sprint and regional, independent wireless carriers would suffer even more as AT&T's increased market position would "exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition"

Susan Z. Haller, vice president of litigation at Sprint, said in a statement:

Sprint opposes AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. With today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.

Sprint had a victory of sorts last week when the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit first against the merger. Thus, Sprint's lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. as a related case.

The nation's fourth largest mobile provider has had some difficulty in wrangling in supporters as some major tech heavyweights have spoken out in favor of AT&T. Although the FCC admitted some reservations following the DOJ's announcement of a lawsuit, there is still the possibility that AT&T will win out -- regardless of Sprint or other suits filed at this point.

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