updated 07:35 pm EDT, Mon September 19, 2011
Cellular South says ATT, T-Mobile anti-competitive
Opposition to AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile galvanized Monday after Cellular South sued AT&T to stop the deal. The dispute contends that the merger would "substantially lessen competition" and put too much power in the hands of the top two US carriers, AT&T and Verizon. In a statement, it shared Sprint's view that the deal would hurt access to the best devices, hike prices, and hurt roaming deals.
Cellular South was one of those testifying to the Senate early on regarding the deal. It claimed at the time that it wasn't being allowed to properly negotiate roaming deals with AT&T for a GSM-related deal. AT&T has denied the assertions.
The regional carrier's lawsuit is being treated as a related case next to the Department of Justice lawsuit as well as a matching attack from Sprint. In all three instances, the plaintiffs are contending that the deal is inherently anti-competitive.
AT&T and T-Mobile have insisted they believe the deal will go through and have been publicly open to the possibility of a settlement with the DOJ to get the deal through. Rumors have it talking directly to Cricket and MetroPCS to ask if they would be willing to accept spectrum and subscribers in return for the deal going through. It's not expected that the carriers will accept a deal easily, if at all, as the deal would create a much larger competitor they might not ever overcome.