U.S. moves to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger

The US Justice Department has decided AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, would violate U.S. monopoly laws.

The regulator is seeking a court order to block the deal, saying 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."

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the filing read.

AT&T said it was surprised by the suit and fight the action. Indeed, it faces a hefty bill from T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom is the deal fails to beat the regulator.

“We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed,” AT&T’s general counsel said.

In its statement the DOJ said “AT&T could obtain substantially the same network enhancements that it claims will come from the transaction if it simply invested in its own network without eliminating a close competitor.”