The battle of over the AT&T and T-Mobile continues today. Sprint has now filed a lawsuit against AT&T, hot on the heels of the U.S. Justice Department's own suit opposing the merger. AT&T responded to the Department of Justice at the time but Sprint isn't stepping down over this matter anytime soon, as noted in their press release:

"Sprint opposes AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile,” said Susan Z. Haller, vice president-Litigation, Sprint. “With today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.

Long and short of it all here folks, this battle is just getting started and as of now, no one knows exactly how it will play out but Sprint is doing everything they can to prevent it from going through. They firmly believe it will give AT&T too much control over the wireless market which in turn, will be bad for consumers as a whole. Full press release is after the break for you all.

Sprint Files Suit to Block Proposed AT&T and T-Mobile Transaction

WASHINGTON (BUSINESS WIRE), September 06, 2011 - Sprint Nextel [NYSE:S] today brought suit against AT&T, Inc., AT&T Mobility, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile seeking to block the proposed acquisition as a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia as a related case to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) suit against the proposed acquisition.

“Sprint opposes AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile,” said Susan Z. Haller, vice president-Litigation, Sprint. “With today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.”

Sprint’s lawsuit focuses on the competitive and consumer harms which would result from a takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T. The proposed takeover would:

  • 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.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 52 million customers at the end of 2Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.


Reader comments

Sprint files suit, looking to block proposed AT&T and T-Mobile transaction


I think the wireless industry will be very interesting if this actually goes through. Sprint will be done if ATT & Verizon become the top two. There is just no way they could compete in terms of network at that point. They are already lagging behind in terms of 4G/LTE IMO, and I live in an area where Sprint has decent 4G coverage.

It seems like Tmobile & Sprint would have been a better merger in terms of competitiveness, but obviously they use two different cell technologies.

I read quite a few articles from seemingly authoritative sources that state Tmobile is probably done for if they don't merge though. If this is the case for Tmobile why can Sprint still stand on their own?

Yeah, I agree. Sprint is only stepping forward because they know they're nothing without T-Mobile lol. A world with just AT&T (huge) and Verizon (huge) competing...Sprint will just die out. :-\
Sprint is spouting bullsh*t instead of saying "We need T-Mobile!"

so sprint is doing what they've always done: using backdoor tactics to try and compete instead of actually making a network built on quality. instead of this being a motivator to improve their own network because AT&T will get HUGE after this, they'd rather try to cut AT&T down. lets talk about what's better competition and better for the customers, shall we?

More carrier choice makes for better competition customer wins.
Why some dislike Sprint for calling AT&T out is beyond me.

People dislikes Sprint for many reasons. My reason is they clearly messed up on one of my bills and it took me 2 months to get it fixed. After they fixed the issue, my new bill came in at double the rate. At that point I was done.

I think some people call out AT&T because of what their parents told them. I read blogs from time to time and I have noticed that some people who hate AT&T weren't even alive at the time AT&T was going through that court ordered break up in the 80's tend to 'hate' AT&T.


People have the power b/c no communications company is nothing without customers.

At least your bill was resolved. As far as AT&T is concerned, you must live and work in a city of 5000 with no tall building obstructing the tower. People have issues with AT&T because of their current service not what their parents talk about. Not everywhere, but on average, their service just outright sucks.

You're right...Sprint network sucks...you cant rely on making a decent phone call or rely on their data for internet...they should take care of that first before doing anything else..

this is what i'm talking about. i joke with my brother (sprint customer) for having sprint syndrome: he'll have a better monthly rate than i will (AT&T customer), but he can't freaking use his phone! what good is that?

Sounds like your brother is a moron who bought a phone from a company that doesn't have good coverage in his area.

It all depends on where you live I guess. Most of my friends are early iPhone adopters that get the new 1 each year so they will be tethered to at&t forever. Yet they have about the 3rd best coverage at best in the area(central Florida). Can't wait till iPhone 5 comes to sprint so I can finally get my girlfriend on my plan and stop paying twice as much for her iPhone just for it to drop calls everyday....oh yeah and UNLIMITED DATA!!!!!!

It sucs for some not for others I guess it sucked for you.
For me its been pretty good the last 10 years and appears to have gotten much better according to consumer reports.
Verizon & Sprint are tied for 1st , T-mobile 2nd , ATT 3rd on customer satisfaction rating.
When it comes to Network performance yes sprints suffering in some regions.
Their in the middle of upgrading network data speeds will take a beating.

Do you have Sprint service. Their voice network is top notch. Call quality is clear and I may get a drop once or twice a month. It is always when driving around. Their data service, right now, sucks but I believe they have been doing some upgrades so they have some overtaxed towers right now.

Maybe Sprint sucks for you but you can't speak for everyone. I have great reception in my area, much better than AT&T/Verizon.

Let's talk about AT&T trying to stifle competition by buying out competition rather than innovate and be competitive, shall we? Only a fool would believe the merger is a good idea.

...and only a fool would post that this: "Let's talk about AT&T trying to stifle competition by buying out competition rather than innovate and be competitive, shall we? Only a fool would believe the merger is a good idea."

...and only a fool would post this: "...and only a fool would post that this: "Let's talk about AT&T trying to stifle competition by buying out competition rather than innovate and be competitive, shall we? Only a fool would believe the merger is a good idea.""

See what I did there?

That's right, let's get those lawyers out there installing new towers, since a company and all its employees can only work on one thing at a time. Ever.

"using backdoor tactics to try and compete instead of actually making a network built on quality"

If you don't like Sprint, switch carriers. And that's why competition and choices are good things. But really, there's no backdoor tactic here. Of course they stand to benefit from keeping T-Mobile out of AT&T's hands, but it won't gain them customers. In fact they'd probably gain customers of T-Mobile went away. They didn't start this mess. They are actually justified in what they say from a legal standpoint.

Scenario: ATT/T-Mob merge. Sprint goes under. Verizon and ATT-Mob can charge whatever they want since sprint won't be around to offer unlimited, albeit slower data. Same thing happened with the home phone companies back in the 70's according to my sister.

End result will be those giving Sprint are hard time aka Sprint haters will be chocking on their pathetic post asking their selves why they pay more & get less

Sprint will be weak no matter what happeneds. They invest too much money into NASCAR. People please wake up and realize that AT&T and Verizon will be the only providers in the U.S. If not now it will be later. Everyone, there's still other choices (Criket, Metro PCS, Boost and others) and with two big companies, the prices of products and services will go down b/c the companies will want you to come to them. And since we can port our number we know that we will continue to have wireless serivce no matter who you're with so if you choose to, you could switch carries every contract renewal time and always get the best deal on a new device and service.


People stop hating on AT&T and Verizon and just get use to it. Remember no one twisted your arm to get a cell phone.

Prices wont go down due to cutting edge hardware availability.
ATT & Verizon will hold those cards and will charge even more for it when or if Sprint goes bye bye.
Keep you fingers crossed sprint survives.

Let me guess, you just came out from AT&T PR team’s ass. Because what you wrote reads and smells just like ass.
Those rural carriers you mentioned are pretty much nonexistent. They survived because big fish like AT&T and Verizon ALLOW them in the name of “competitiveness”.
Get your stupid head out of your ass and look around maybe you will smell some fresh air

Mulemuffins. A cell phone today is a necessity. Landlines are so cumbersome and expensive that cell phone service is the way to go.

Re: NASCAR...Sprint has a contract NEXTEL signed to live up to. That's not something they can just throw away.

Boost IS owned by SPRINT, for the record. Cricket, Metro, and so on are NOT available nationally. NONE of the major carriers even look at what the prepaid guys do, they consider them a way to offload customers they don't want (eg, can't pass credit checks, don't want contracts, drug dealers, etc...)

BTW, T-Mo is at one disadvantage, they do NOT own any backbone for the Internet. (VZ, ATT, and Sprint do!)

With two carriers left, do you REALLY think handset choices are going to be any better? No. Innovation gets killed real fast. As it is now, I can go to any carrier and get an Android or Blackberry. ANY carrier. Apple is wising up and finally making the Iphone available to other carriers meaning they KNOW they've lost market share.

You don't understand the basic principle of competition. COMPETITION makes everyone BETTER. With two carriers, do you really think either has an incentive to lower prices?

Do you even know how this game works sahn??? SMH! But your post is funny as everyone here at Verizon laughed at this post.

Here's more proof that Verizon supports AT&T's purchase. They want there to be only two major players. It's like Coke and Pepsi. They are content simply using their power to crush any third option in the cola space. They no longer care about taking market share away from each other.

Good luck with Boost if sprint is gone, being its the same company. Also Cricket and MetroPCS use Sprints network is certain markets. But you knew that, sure.

If Sprint goes then so does boost and virgin mobile and Nextel. Crickets prices will jump cause they piggy back off of Verizon. With only 2 main carriers that also means they can bully around manufacturers. The carriers make the final call on what features are activated on the cell phones. With out choice inthe market them the manufacturers can't release the phones they want because the 2 big dogs won't let them. I was alive for the ma bell era. There was no choice you paid them what they wanted out no phone. AT&T and Verizon were once the same company.. Without 2 other national players in the cell phone game they can work together again seeing as one company is gsm and the other is cdma.

So if you believe they will lower prices to compete with each other then think again. Its the best way for them to be the controlling company they once were just not officially together.

And as for your smaller regional companies like metro pcs and us cellular and others like them. Who do you think they go through for their services? Either AT&T out Verizon. Seeing as they are the only 2 companies that own their own landlines. All other cell companies pay one out the other for usage of their land lines to make calls and internet. The smaller companies won't have the resources out power to fight them on that. how do you think a cell phone works? Like a walkie talkie from one device to the next? Nope you make a call out internet connection it goes to the tower then to a call center like a switchboard operators used to sit at in the old timey days then it hours through Verizon out AT&T land lines to another switch board to that local tower and to the person your reaching.

So I can see why dan Hesse from Sprint has been in Washington since this all started and fighting this. He actually cares about money but also customers. Before he took over Sprint had the worst customer service more Sprint keeps at the top of consumer reports charts for best. I know I've seen it happen because I've been with Sprint for 11 years.. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and have always gotten good service on my phones. I travel all i've the country and have always had service where I was. The only times I have had dropped calls internet throttled is when i'm roaming on a Verizon tower. Verizon likes to do that when more Verizon customers log onto a tower they bump the Sprint people off. Yet Sprint doesn't bump Verizon customers when they are roaming on Sprint towers.

So like Sprint or hate Sprint without them this country gets a duopoly and we are at the mercy of Verizon and AT&T prices... Even the smaller companies not just consumers.. Just saying.. If anyone read all of this and don't agree with me.. That's cool cause that's freedom of choice.. Something we will lose on the cell phone industry of this goes through.

Off the record I really like how Swype types the word out every time I Swype the word "or".. Sorry everyone if that made my post confusing.

First off, Nascar, is not breaking Sprint. Poor business decisions that are now being maintained (Nextel debacle) is what is hurting Sprint. IF Sprint were to go under, Verizon, would absorb them. If Verizon does get Sprint then you would have 96 pct of the market in two players hands. Boost is Sprint. Cricket uses Sprint for roaming. However, all the regionals would end up dying a slow death because they will not be able to compete with increased backhaul prices, handsets, etc..

I'm sick and tired of that retarded argument to justify people completely ripping you off or invading your privacy. "Well, you don't HAVE to fly" and "you don't NEED a phone" are completely false arguments to make. Plus it makes you look like an ignorant jackass.

I'm glad Sprint is going this route, but I don't understand how some of you are calling the death of Sprint if this merger went through. This has no effect on Sprint's network and so long as they keep offering a better/same product at a much better price they will stand up on their own two feet.

The only way I could see this as a blow to Sprint is if AT&T got competitive with their pricing to try and eliminate Sprint from the picture.

Good point but you have to also remember T-Mobile went to Sprint first and they turned it down. As far as changing prices I really don't think that will happen but you never know.


If this merger goes through, Sprint will still be in business but I promise they will have to change either the pricing of the plans or change the 'all you can eat' attitude.

Sprint will never go away as long as they keep the price lower than the rest, people still think it same old Sprint but they have changed!! I have thought about switching so many times but when I look at a side by side you cant beat Sprint no matter how you try. I dont understand why people dont want to save money???!!

Sprint is not going anywhere anytime soon, I don't know why people keep saying that. Let's not forget verizon was a total shit-bag of a company before they took over alltel. No data and constant dropped calls. Sprint will be just fine.

I have been with Verizon since around 2003 and have never experienced bad service, in fact in the Alltel areas of Utah, they bounced off their towers and now, I see no difference.
As for Sprints worries. They may offer decent service, but they are not making money like investors want. IF and that is a big IF, AT&T is allowed to take over T-Mobile, Sprint might just be worried about Verizon someday coming in and taking over Sprint. Might be voluntary between the two companies, might be a hostile takeover.

However, if the US Government stops the take over of T-Mobile, then they would also stop any possible future hostile takeover of Sprint by Verizon.

I work for at&t corporate in san antonio tx, and I support sprint. And I heard 2 At&t wireless Vp's say that after the tmobile merger it can pick up smaller companies for pennies on the dollar.

It does seem clear from the posts that people feel strongly about "their" carrier. And nothing wrong with that. I do know that choice does foster innovations and almost always cheaper prices. This is exactly what has happened with ATT, Verizon, Sprint, T-Moble, Metro PCS, etc. All fighting for YOUR dollar. If the merger does happen, the concentration of power in pricing and phones will definitely have an impact. What if there was only two major car manufacturers.... do you want a Ford or Honda and in black or white? ATT and Verizon will have about 65-70% of the cell market. I want more than a couple of choices.

I also found it somewhat disingenuous when the ATT CEO was on CNBC last week and said "If we get approved we'll bring back 5,000 Call Center jobs back to the US. Is this a hostage type statement... we need the jobs now and not as a reward. And not to put down call center employees, but I'll bet that they make a lot less than the technical people who will be replaced, or the tower maintenance/construction unemployed or the T-Mobile / ATT stores that will be out of work. You do not merge companies, especially large overlapping companies offering the same service and NOT reduce head-count. There will be a lot of middle and high income people out-of-work.

Yes, I am old enough to remember the ATT break-up.. and competition did foster new companies, new ways of serving people, reducing costs and employing a lot of people.

I am all for choice and all, but am I the only person who feels this is a wrong move by Sprint? I mean, I just feel that their energy and resources would be better spent on the eventual switch to LTE, rapidly phasing out Nextel, replacing their towers with some type of tower that they partner with Motorola with, improving coverage (I'm fine where I am, but it's always a good thing to improve coverage), improving relationships with OEM's (Nokia comes to mind). This is just to name a few.

Long story short; the DoJ has already filed a similar suit. Let them deal with that and just focus on your next steps in 4g, coverage areas, phone selection, and image.

*End Rant*

Sprint's image is A-OK! As for coverage, have you read anything about Project Leapfrog and Network Vision? Sprint is being paid billions of dollars for the change to LTE. Nextel is practically out the door already. Nokia sucks. Nobody wants Symbian on their devices, end of story. It's either iOS or Android, and nothing else.

I'm glad to see they aren't backing down, and i think it's important for current customers as well as potential cell phone customers to have a variety and aren't limited to only a few companies when choosing a phone. Personally I think Sprint is awesome and have done amazing changes to the service and it's the best deal around with all included data and messaging on the plans. So way to go Sprint!!!!

The big issue with the merger, and what Sprint is rightfully worried about, is spectrum availability and licensing.

No one's going to be making new spectrum, and the FCC licenses it off to the highest bidder. Once you hit a critical mass of money in the bank, you can use spectrum licensing to hamstring competition before it gets off the ground. Verizon is already guilty of this.

If you've used Sprint's WiMax service and seen it drop as soon as you walk indoors, you've already been effected by spectrum issues.

I hope the merger doesn't go through as well. There would be to many exclusive deals going on. At the psp vita launch att came out and announced it exclusive on there 3g network. With the executives on the stage the whole crowd booed them.

The last thing i want is the nexus being locked into att or verizon for 3 years.

I've been a Sprint customer for over 12 years. I'm partial to Sprint, and support their stance in this case, not because I'm a loyalist to the brand, but because I'm still a consumer and appreciate my choices. I would say the same if VZW tried to swallow Sprint, or any other myriad of mergers took place.

Plain and simple, the AT&T/T-Mo merger wouldn't be good for the consumer. For AT&T/T-Mo customers, you will see fewer devices on the shelves, fewer plan choices, consolidated call centers resulting in decreased customer service and so-forth. Exclusive devices to the "big" providers will command higher prices and likely higher plan premiums. The resulting effect on the rest of the market will be manufacturers less willing to produce unique devices in smaller quantities for smaller providers, smaller providers having to charge more for plans due to lost revenue from consumers jumping-ship to get the "latest and greatest" phones, and more mergers of smaller companies just to remain competitive.

Anyone that thinks that consolidation of major companies is good for the consumer just has to look at the oil companies as an example. How many low-cost, independent gas stations really have a big enough market share to make them a viable national alternative? How much price variance do you see driving through your town? The big guys, with stores on every corner control the prices because they can, and the little mom-and-pop store on the corner may be inexpensive today, but without the resources of the big companies and the money driving the advertising/PR/marketing, their reach and power to control more than their corner is limited at best, and they may not even be there tomorrow as an option, at worst.

My plans are expensive enough! Bring on the fight to stop the merger - from whoever wants to take it on. Keep choice available to the consumer, keep plans and devices accessible and inexpensive, and keep duopolies/oligopolies from costing us ALL more money.

Great points especially on the exclusivity. Look at what AT&T did with HTC Jetstream. That tablet is really over priced. Now think if AT&T was allowed to marge with TMO. They would make prices more ridiculous because they know consumer choices are limited. I hope the law suits and the loud consumer outcry convinces AT&T to dump this crazy idea.

I don't think AT&T will drop ANYTHING without being mandated to do so. AT&T is concerned about power and position, not the consumer, not the effect on the marketplace. I think this is a move primarily to control spectrum space and position for more iPhone-type exclusive device deals. I was an SBC Mobile customer (pre-Cingular) before the AT&T/Cingular merger and saw prices increase, and quality and customer service fall through the basement then. This is just history preparing to repeating itself again, only on a much, much larger scale for subscribers of both companies, and a ripple-down for the rest of the industry.

Ok final thought:

We can all say whatever we want here...the end result is we either have a merger or we don't.

Let's move on people because I know non of the people that posted in here today how true power to stop big companies from doing whatever it is they want to do.

Well, we certainly can craft a better argument than yours. Autocomplete? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

I wan to ask, what other alternatives are there. DUETCH TELECOM already threw in the towel. Sprint can't buy it because of incompatible technologies. No other carrier is large enough. Who is left to buy T-Mobile? Dont get me wrong, i hope this deal fauls. A doupoly will kill american choices in wireless

T-Mobile is actually profitable. Deutche Telekom just wanted to get out of the US market. If the deal goes through, my guess is that they'll cash the check they get and keep on truckin'.

There are hybrid GSM/CDMA devices (eg, Sprint photon) on the market. If Sprint and T-Mo were to merge, its very easy to release hybrid devices.

I have to say Sprint's customer service has greatly improved compared to years ago. So far I have no issues of drop calls or coverage issues with Sprint. As for the rumor about Sprint getting the next Iphone 5, that would kill the unlimited everything plans that they now offer. They'll follow suit like AT&T & Verizon by having tiered plans. I'd still buy a android cell phone over anything made by Apple. :)

I feel that everyone that has posted something on this subject is very smart...has anyone ever thought about a start up wireless company? I know it would be small compared to the giants in the industry....your thoughts?