AT&T asks Sprint to disclose competition plans pending outcome of planned merger

AT&T recently requested that a federal judge push Sprint to reveal what its plans for competition will be pending the outcome of AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Sprint has been a staunch opponent of the deal and it is clear that AT&T has at least some worry Sprint may try to team up with T-Mobile should the purchase be denied. “Sprint is a strong and vibrant competitor as evidenced by events in the past six months — a fact that is critical to AT&T’s defense of DOJ’s claim that the challenged merger will dampen competition in the mobile wireless industry,” AT&T attorney Steven Benz, who is an employee of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, said. In addition to AT&T’s request, U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle recently allowed Sprint and C Spire Wireless to move forward with lawsuits that were filed in opposition of AT&T’s planned merger. AT&T recently asked Huvelle to toss the lawsuit and argued that “Sprint cannot wrap itself in the cloak of wireless service consumers’ interest because Sprint is not a consumer but instead a competitor in the sale of wireless services.” Huvelle disagrees. “Where private plaintiffs have successfully pleaded antitrust injury, the fact that they are defendants’ competitors is no bar” to filing a suit, Huvelle explained. “We believe the limited, minor claims [Sprint and C Spire Wireless] have left are entirely without merit,” AT&T senior executive vice president and general counsel Wayne Watts told Reuters.

Read [Reuters] Read [Bloomberg]

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