Melissa Maxman, an antitrust attorney with law firm Cozen O’Connor commented “By filing the suit, Sprint has the opportunity to make additional arguments that the government may not make. They can argue more vigorously that they are the injured party in this merger.”
In the suit Sprint claims, “By acquiring T-Mobile, AT&T would be removing a low-price and innovative maverick competitor that provides particularly disruptive competition,” Sprint argued in the suit. “The injuries to Sprint and the public at large would be irreparable if the merger were completed.”
U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, who is presiding over that challenge, said she would hold an initial status conference in the case on Sept. 21st, to address this latest development in the case.
In its suit, the Justice Department suggests that the combination of the nation’s second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers would harm competition and innovation in the industry and would likely raise prices. This seems obvious. Sprint’s ultimate motives may not be as obvious.
Could it be they would like to either Merge or acquire T-Mobile themselves?
In a statement Tuesday, an AT&T spokesman said, “This simply demonstrates what we’ve said all along—Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers.”
AT&T argues that the T-Mobile acquisition would allow it to more quickly improve wireless-service quality and expand high-speed wireless Internet service across most of the U.S.
Christopher Sprigman, a University of Virginia School of Law professor and former counsel in the Justice Department’s antitrust division, commented that, “The Sprint suit could complicate AT&T’s already beleaguered efforts to win approval for the deal”.
Further adding, “Sprint seems to be adding an additional suit as insurance” against the government failing to halt the merger. But he said “if the government were to settle with AT&T on terms that Sprint doesn’t like “this suit could be used to protest that.”
Sprint’s suits declined to comment. beyond what’s in the suit, and that suits us just fine!