Sprint Joins Justice Department, Sues over T-Mobile-AT&T Merger

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Not that this should be monstrously surprising, but Sprint has filed a lawsuit against the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. The suit has been filed "as a related case to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) suit against the proposed acquisition," according to Sprint’s press release.

(MORE: Justice Department Looks to Block T-Mobile-AT&T Deal)

Sprint contends that the merger would hurt consumers, but also concedes that it’s looking out for its own bottom line. Sprint is currently the third-largest national wireless carrier, sandwiched in between AT&T and T-Mobile—the merger would make AT&T the nation’s largest wireless carrier overall.

Sprint’s rationale behind blocking the deal, according to its press release, is that a successful merger would do the following:

"-Harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.

-Entrench the duopoly control of AT&T and Verizon, the two "Ma Bell" descendants, of the almost one-quarter of a trillion dollar wireless market. As a result of the transaction, AT&T and Verizon would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.

-Harm Sprint and the other independent wireless carriers. If the transaction were to be allowed, a combined AT&T and T-Mobile would have the ability to use its control over backhaul, roaming and spectrum, and its increased market position to exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition."

In a response to Sprint’s lawsuit, an AT&T spokesperson told Techland the following:

"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. We of course will vigorously contest this matter in court as AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA will: help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions; allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population; and result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most."

MORE: What the AT&T & T-Mobile Acquisition Means for Everyone