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Cellular South joins in lawsuits to stop AT&T, T-Mobile deal

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.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    Bravo Cellular South

    Thanks for acting, Cellular South. When the merger was first announced, I tentatively supported it, figuring it was the lesser evil. But since then I watched AT&T carefully, and I don't like what I see. If they're this bad with T-Mobile as a competitor, what will they be like when they have no effective competition for GSM service? Downright awful.

    We should not forget that both Cricket and PCSMetro are CDMA not GSM. Any little bits of spectrum that AT&T throws their way won't keep up competition in the GSM market. My own hunch is that AT&T isn't serious about the offers it's making them. I just wants keep them from filing a challenge long enough for the merger to go through.

    Finally, as someone in the cellular industry reminded me yesterday, if this merger doesn't go through, AT& has to give T-Mobile over $2 billion, which can be used to improve the latter's coverage and data services.

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