Justice Department Files Suit to Stop Dallas-Based AT&T From Acquiring T-Mobile

This just in from the Department of Justice: No way, no how does it want downtown-based AT&T from getting its hands on T-Mobile. So much so it's just filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in D.C. federal court to block the sale, insisting that ...

... the proposed $39 billion transaction would substantially lessen competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services across the United States, resulting in higher prices, poorer quality services, fewer choices and fewer innovative products for the millions of American consumers who rely on mobile wireless services in their everyday lives.

The department's press release is here; the lawsuit, here. And here's a transcript of Deputy Attorney General James Cole's press conference, during which he said that "a merged AT&T and T-Mobile would combine two of the four largest competitors in the marketplace, and would eliminate T-Mobile, an aggressive competitor, from the market." In related news, I just lost your call. Sorry about that.

Update at 12:04 p.m.: The Future of Music Coalition, which has long opposed this merger, sends a statement in support of today's filing:

"Future of Music Coalition applauds the Department of Justice for moving to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. We hope the FCC swiftly follows suit to preserve access and innovation in mobile communications. From competition in a crucial marketplace to jobs preservation, preventing this merger is the right thing to do. Creators and consumers alike should welcome today's news, and we thank those in the music community for helping to illustrate what is at stake for artists and other creative entrepreneurs."

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