AT&T Asks Judge To Throw Out Cellular South Lawsuit To Block AT&T-Mobile Merger


AT&T has filed motions to dismiss both of the complaints filed by Sprint and Cellular South (now C Spire Wireless) to block their merger with T-Mobile. AT&T argues that both carriers are only in it for themselves and not the interests of the general public like they claim. In a surprising turn of events AT&T went on to reveal that Cellular South was actually trying to negotiate privately with AT&T (before their lawsuit) that they would support the merger if,

“AT&T would agree not to engage in facilities-based competition in Mississippi. This inappropriate proposal confirms that what Cellular South fears is competition, not lack of competition.”

Snaps. Cellular South said they would prepare and have a statement on the allegations from AT&T later. However, Sprint’s PR guy, John Taylor spoke out on AT&T’s actions saying,

“AT&T promised more than two weeks ago that they would take this step. They only reason that AT&T do today is that a Federal judge issued a court order requiring them to do so. And neither motion has any merit whatsoever. Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act expressly provides for the rights of private parties to file antitrust litigation and that’s exactly what Sprint and C-Spire have done.

Look for formal responses to be filed in Court next Friday. The judge has scheduled oral arguments for October 24. It should be an interesting day in court.

On another note, Sprint was pleased to hear that today the U.S. Department of Justice has added the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to its antitrust lawsuit against AT&T. If this transaction goes forward, AT&T will have 56 percent of the island’s wireless business. By any measure this will give consumers in Puerto Rico less choice and lead to higher prices.

For our part at Sprint we will continue to stick up for competition and will work with Judge Huvelle as she seeks to efficiently try both this case and the Justice Department’s case which both seek to stop the clearly anti-competitive proposed transaction.”

Att’a boy, Sprint. Give ’em hell. What do you guys think about all of these antics? Are Sprint and Cellular South really only in it for themselves and not “the public” as they claim? Does it even matter? All I know is I don’t want T-Mobile going anywhere. I like the option of 4 national carriers in the US.

[BusinessWeek via Engadget]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I believe that they are both absolutely in it for themselves. AT&T/T-Mo merger would render Sprint irrelevant as the 3rd largest carrier by a large margin behind the big 2.

    However, that in itself will be bad for the general public in that nothing Sprint or CS could do would drive innovation, price cuts, or anything else that would benefit the public and the economy.

    So yes, they are in it for themselves, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also in the best interest of the public as well.

    1. Agreed, this is one of the rare times when a company who’s in ot for themselves also benefits the consumer. With Sprint slowly making itself irrelevant by bad service, cutting programs, and slowly headed towards capping everything, T-Mobile needs to be in the picture.

      1. Except that whether the merger goes thru or not, it’s doubtfull that T-Mo would be in the picture for very long either way. T-Mos done for. Whether AT&T buys them or someone else does…..

        1. Sure that may be but the main thing is to keep it from going awry. T-mobile could become their own thing like dispatch from DT and just be its own thing, that would be the best option for anyone. Its okay if T-mo breaks off and is split among a variety of companies other than AT&T and verizon, sprint is gonna be out of the question so it would be best if a smaller company picked it up because the competition would still be there but any of the big 3 purchasing t-mo would result in possible price raises. T-mo is the low cost control in America without that we are in for a screwing. Who wants tiered data? oh wait that already is happening.

          1. You have many other options for low cost service. Please stop with this red herring.

          2. Red herring? Bullshit on that you tell me a better low cost contract company who has competing coverage prices and data better than tmo

      2. T-mo keeps the costs down on contract plans I wish they would just hand it over to simple mobile they roam over t-mo anyways I wonder if they were even considered as potential buyers. They have better plans and same frequencies.

    2. More likely T-Mobile would be the next Nextel. Consumer confidence is never high in these situations, and given AT&T’s already terrible service the idea of them attempting to mesh two major networks together doesn’t inspire.

  2. One has nothing to do with the other. Companies are supposed to be in for themselves. DOJ filed the first lawsuit against the merger, it is the government’s role to make sure there is a fair market place where true competition benefits the consumer and keeps companies constantly innovating. Anyone who thinks we need less government and less regulations to prevent these types of mergers does not understand economics.

    1. your exactly right, i am surprise that at&t and Verizon can do what ever they like with out getting in to trouble.

    2. exactly, and this case, AT&T has to lose, they hate that when that happens.

  3. You don’t say “Cellular South (now C Spire Wireless)” and keep calling them Cellular South…
    You say C Spire Wireless (formerly Cellular South).

    1. Don’t you tell me what to do, Phil. Don’t you dare do it! >:O

      1. ^^ :P

  4. Times like this are why I’m glad I’m with Cricket unlimited calling, free roaming, and nodata cap. So what if I’m a few behind on the technology dejour, I’m a broke redneck geek. I don’t need the latest bleeding edge tech. I’ll just hack my Android, root the sumb★★ch, and ron it rill it does what I want it too. When I can’t any more then ill get a new phone until then at&t can kiss my fat white a$$!

    1. Prepaid companies like that would do so much better if they got better devices sure the cheap efficient thing is great but some people still want relevant tech as well. I mean they are getting better devices but who really would want a GS2 and pay monthly unlimited? that would be absolutely sweet.

    2. amen fauxfire! Im with you breaux! Slap that Cricket! Whip it! beat like a bych and let it knwo whos’e daddy! ATT and veriizon crap is all hype and adverisements. We dont need all the latest gadgets as long as we got unlimited ! Cricket and Sprint (until lately) proves that there is NOTHING wrong with unlimited except the iphone dragging any network to its knees while jobs and att get rich.

      Well NIMBP! (not in my back pocket!)

  5. No shit they are in it for themselves but ultimately its in it for us as well because if they go out then prices rise, who in the hell cares about the “oh we are just trying to save our a$$” motive if in the end it betters us too? AT&T can go 3FF themselves.

  6. F##k!!!!! At&t I don’t want there ass

  7. All I know is T-Mobile has some pretty lame phones. Yes, they have competitive pricing. But when you’re paying for crap, you’re still throwing money away. They have the Sensation…that’s it! The G2X is buggy as hell. The MyTouch is low-rent, and the sliders are obsolete.

  8. F att they only want this merger so they can control the cellular market. It be the only way they could be #1. Why is it so hard to fix your issues att it cost you way less. Instead you want another company to fix your Ish. So dominance is their goal. Greedy bi#$%!

  9. The other carriers need to join in to block this merger. AT&T is already bullying current customers and make false claims like tethering to me but I don’t tether and others I know are being accused of this and other things too using too much data. Anyway they will only get worse if they are allow to merge with T-Mobile block this crap now before its too late. I’ve started with bellsourh then Cingular new AT&T. If this goes through I will be moving my 5 lines to sprint as my money spends just as well with then

  10. Grammar error in title, the correct spelling is “AT&T&T-Mobile”

  11. Just because you like the option of 4 carriers doesn’t mean the sale shouldn’t happen.

  12. ya the whole merger is bullshit i hope the DOJ is successful in getthing this shit blocked so far they now have 8 states plus PR the last I heard but ATT has like 12 states on there side wanting the merger. F ATT there service sucks anyway i just want the iPhone 5 on T-Mobile

  13. I absolutely positively hate AT&T, so biased I am! AT&T’s service, PR and Customer Service are one of the worst in the business (the word aloof comes to mind). On a side-note though, ALL companies are in it for themselves, ‘comon now. But customers ought to have a choice too, and I choose any company but AT&T… ’nuff Said.

  14. If they merger I well be going with some one else AT&T sucks ^$$ and T-Mobile has some of the best phone out there when it comes to Android. For one thing we can’t for get T-Mobile had the first Android phone so to say that T-Mobile has lame phones you are a dumb ^$$. As is right now T-Mobile has the most Android Phone and the thing is I look at this way AT&T can keep there piece S%!# I-Phone. For those that don’t remember what was the first Android Phone it was the T-Mobile HTC G1

    1. I don’t understand anything you just said.

  15. I’m sorry, but this is getting more and more boring to read about. AT&T purchasing T-Mo isn’t going to cause the end of the world. Sprint is already axing stuff left and right, makes me wish I stayed with VZW now.

    I’d rather see Congress throw some regulations on pricing and let AT&T have better coverage for their customers.

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