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Justice Dept. Hangs Up on AT&T Deal for T-Mobile

The U.S. Justice Department sued Wednesday to prevent AT&T’s hoped-for merger with T-Mobile, a $39 billion deal that would create the largest telephone carrier in the country with almost 130 million subscribers.

The merger would reduce competition and harm consumers, the department said. AT&T disagreed and said that it would “vigorously contest this matter in court.” The proposed deal, which was announced in March, would leave just three major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint Nextel. –ARK

DealBook at The New York Times:

The Justice Department on Wednesday sued to block AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, a deal that would create the largest carrier in the country and reshape the industry.

“The department filed its lawsuit because we believe the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for their mobile wireless services,” said James M. Cole, the deputy attorney general.

… The Justice Department’s complaint, which was filed in the United States District Court in Washington, said that T-Mobile “places important competitive pressure on its three larger rivals, particularly in terms of pricing, a critically important aspect of competition.”

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