U.S. government sues to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger [updated]

The United States government has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, saying that such a deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the U.S. wireless market. Bloomberg reports that the complaint was filed by the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday, and the government is asking for a declaration that the proposed merger would violate U.S. antitrust laws. The complaint seeks to have the deal blocked as a result. “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. AT&T has argued that it needs T-Mobile’s spectrum in order to improve service quality and cover the majority of the U.S. population with 4G LTE service.

UPDATE: AT&T has issued a statement in response to the DOJ lawsuit. The FCC has issued a statement as well, as has Sprint.

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