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U.S. Files Antitrust Complaint to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger
Executives at AT&T attend a news conference where it was announced that AT&T Inc. will be buying its wireless rival T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG for $39 billion in cash and stock on March 21, 2011 in New York City.
The U.S. government sued to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc., saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market.
The Justice Department complaint was filed today in federal court in Washington. The U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law and a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.
“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 fell 96 cents to $28.66 at 10:31 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
Should regulators reject the transaction, AT&T would pay Deutsche Telekom $3 billion in cash. It would also provide T-Mobile with wireless spectrum in some regions and reduced charges for calls into AT&T’s network, for a total package valued at as much as $7 billion, Deutsche Telekom said this month.
Philipp Schindera, a spokesman at Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom, declined to immediately comment.
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