Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

By on December 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM.

Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

Judge Ellen Huvelle approved a joint request by AT&T and the Department of Justice to delay a lawsuit regarding AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA. AT&T requested a stay in the suit on Monday and said it was working with Deutsche Telekom to prepare the best defense possible. “We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies’ wireless assets,” AT&T said in a statement on Monday. The Department of Justice has also sought a delay, or an entire dismissal of the suit, since it believes a ruling is unnecessary now that AT&T has withdrawn its FCC application to purchase T-Mobile USA. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Justice Department lead attorney Joseph Wayland said recently. The pretrial proceedings for the Department of Justice’s suit against the merger will begin on January 18th, 2012. More →

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

By on November 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

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. More →

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Sprint denied access to AT&T documents in fight against merger

By on October 25, 2011 at 7:05 PM.

Sprint denied access to AT&T documents in fight against merger

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle recently shot down Sprint’s request to access a number of documents related to AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “You don’t stand in the shoes of the consumer or the Department of Justice,” Huvelle said. Sprint originally sued to block the merger in September, shortly after the U.S. Justice Department filed a similar case in August. AT&T recently asked a judge to toss the suit entirely and, like Huvelle, said Sprint was not in a position to argue from the consumer’s standpoint. “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,” AT&T said in the September court filing. Read on for more. More →

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