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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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.