The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit last month to block AT&T's $39 proposed bid for T-Mobile USA, and now Puerto Rico is signing on as well.
Puerto Rico's secretary of justice Guillermo A. Somoza Colomba explained in a statement (translated below):
Through this action, the Department of Justice (DOJ) of Puerto Rico seeks to ensure safeguarding the benefit of a competitive market to Puerto Rican consumers. As the transaction is proposed, it would result in a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant geographic market for mobile telecommunications services, both in Puerto Rico, and the rest of the nation.
Sprint chimed in again in support of its new ally. Vonya B. McCann, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Sprint, said in a statement:
Today Guillermo Somoza-Colombani, the Attorney General of Puerto Rico, announced that Puerto Rico has joined with the U.S. Department of Justice, seven other state Attorneys General, C-Spire Wireless and Sprint in a growing effort to protect consumers from the harmful effects of AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile.
Consumers in Puerto Rico, and indeed across the country, should welcome this news.
After a comprehensive and thorough antitrust investigation, the Attorney General Somoza-Colombani has come to the same conclusion as these other law enforcement officials: AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile will harm consumers and hurt competition in the wireless industry.
We applaud the Attorney General for taking this important step. In doing so, he is standing up for consumers and competition.
Along with Sprint, Puerto Rico joins seven U.S. states, many smaller and regional telephone carriers, and, of course, the DOJ in the fight against the proposed merger.
On the flip side, plenty of Silicon Valley giants, a group of House Democrats, and even Verizon Wireless all support the proposal, which would create the largest mobile provider in the country. Meanwhile, AT&T has asked for lawsuits by Sprint and Cellular South seeking to block the merger to be dismissed.