updated 04:35 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Battle on state level begins in West Virginia
Sprint has opened up new fronts in its opposition to AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. In addition to the federal level, Sprint is now extending the battle down to the state level. The company has asked the state of West Virginia to review the merger. Sprint is expected to ask for similar reviews in other states.
There are other indicators that any approval of AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile will be a long time in coming. Bloomberg reported that the Justice department has asked both companies for additional information and also have sent to both "civil investigative demands." By taking these actions, the Justice department can prolong its investigation indefinitely.
Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier is strongly opposed to the numbers two and four carriers merging. The result of the combination would be the largest wireless carrier in the US. Sprint believes that, if approved, the merger would significantly reduce competition in the marketplace.
The $39 billion AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile from Germany's Deutsche Telekom was announced in March. AT&T formally submitted its request to the FCC in April.