Our government wants to block monopolistic actions by big business that might/would hurt the consumer? How refreshing!

The U.S. government sued to block AT&T Inc. (T)’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc., saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market. AT&T shares fell as much as 5 percent.

In the complaint filed today in federal court in Washington, the U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law. The U.S. also asked for a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said in its filing.

  1. What? says:

    Will the government be forced to back down once the corporations whine?

    Notice I used the word “forced”.

  2. Animby - just phoning it in says:

    O’Bama just can’t be seen favoring anything that will lose jobs in the runup to 2012. Look for AT&T to make some minor concessions and promise not to fire any workers during the transition then Justice will back off.

  3. spsffan says:

    It’s about time! Before every corporation is Taco Bell!

  4. scandihoovian says:

    Rick Perry will not stand for this!

  5. Dallas says:

    I’m sure Verizon greased some Republican for this ruling.

  6. Improbus says:

    WTF! The federal government is doing the right thing for once? INCONCEIVABLE!!

  7. jbenson2 says:

    So Obama is thumbing his nose at 1.) unions and 2.) American companies.

    1.) The merger meant a boon for the Communication Workers of America union, which would absorb the T-Mobile employees of the merger into their ranks.

    2.) The decision to block the merger will pay off rather handsomely for the German owner Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE). AT&T will pay DTE $3 billion in cash if the deal is blocked.

  8. MikeN says:

    Translation: AT&T needs to pay up.

  9. Pmitchell says:

    Yea sprint will survive for another few years now with their crappy service and fake 4g

  10. MikeN says:

    Other possible translation, Craig McCaw gave money to Barack Obama to buy access. Now this is what he wants, to prevent competition for ClearWire, just like before he got the government to delay Digital TV to keep Verizon from getting its hand on unused spectrum.

  11. EnemyOfTheState says:

    Millions to the members of the House and Senate and AT&T forgot to buy the Justice Department. You know that will never happen again.

  12. Joe says:

    #5, Why would Verizon want to block the merger? A wireless duopoly between AT&T and Verizon would be immensely profitable for both of them.

  13. BigBoyBC says:

    AT&T didn’t put enough money in Obama’s pockets, typical Chicago tactics, Rahm taught Barry well…

  14. B. Dog says:

    Wow, the justice department came out of its coma.

  15. Steve S says:

    #9 Pmitchell
    I think that is so funny since Sprint usually is pretty high in customer satisfaction http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/customer-satisfaction-were-not-thrilled-with-wireless-telephone-and-tv-carriers/48937surveys while AT&T is *always* rated as the worst.

  16. scandihoovian says:

    I moved from AT&T to Sprint last January and would never think of going back. AT&T, the never ending black hole of garbage service that reinvents itself every few years by trying to become a redefined oligopoly. I hope 1974 comes back to haunt these douchebags.

  17. Birddog says:

    They are late to this game.

  18. AlanB says:

    there is a god.

  19. chris says:

    A combination of the worst service and highest bills… what’s not to like?

  20. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    Wow, could this be possible? This might be the first and only good thing that ever happens under this president!!!!

    I guess someone in the DOJ felt like they needed to do something since Obama has instructed them to stop enforcing most of the laws they are responsible for enforcing (oh you know little things like deporting illegal aliens), undermining an entire branch of government as well as the constitution. In the mean time, they have instead been busy suing states and raiding Gibson Guitar. I guess someone must have finally decided they should take a break from destroying the United States and actually do their job!

  21. SimonSezz says:

    #20, are you serious? In the first two years of Obama as president there were more illegal immigrants deported than during the previous eight years of Bush. Do a search and look up the numbers.

  22. deowll says:

    I’m shocked. I know they bribed these people. What is the world coming to when a bought politician won’t even stay bought?

  23. ArianeB says:

    When I was in the market for a cell phone, I compared prices with what I am likely to use. For my uses T-Mobile was way cheaper, and AT&T was the most expensive. I am one of the customers that are better off without this merger.

    Key members of the FTC have said they don’t like the merger, and would likely vote against its approval, the Justice Department’s move pretty much kills it, I hope.

    Unless the Federal Government can get AT&T to open up their fiber network to 3rd parties like they are required to do in Great Britain (resulting in dirt cheap broadband nationwide) they ought to do everything they can to block this deal.

  24. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Here is my prediction. ATT will take this to court. The House Republicans will threaten to defund the Depth. of Justice office responsible for the denial. Some minor changes are made to to the merger agreement and DOJ reverses their judgement. House Republicans all find big sacks of cash under their Christmas trees. The merger is completed and everyone is happy except for anyone who uses a cellphone in the US. They will find higher bills for less service in their Christmas stockings.

  25. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    #21 SimonSezz,

    Yes I am aware of this. However, he recently set an executive order effectively granting amnesty to all illegal aliens in line for deportation, and has instructed the DHS and DOJ not to deport illegal aliens unless they have criminal histories.


    So you can look at these two seemingly opposing actions by him, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. (Deporting more than George Bush is not saying much at all. GWB wanted amnesty as well) Then after this, grant them all amnesty effectively (including some of the ones in line to be deported that you are counting in the deported number), and that way you can pander to illegals and Hispanics while making the specious claim that you are tough on illegal immigration because of the statistic from your first your as president, and most uneducated folks will be none the wiser.

  26. MikeN says:

    #21, the key is to see if this is ongoing. What they did was clear a backlog in the immigration courts through a special kind of amnesty to get people in immigration court to drop their lawsuit and agree to quick processing. In exchange they are not recorded as criminals in the governments’ files. They also made sure to stop this processing once they beat the previous year’s numbers. The key was to generate the talking point that deportations are up, so as to help them get amnesty. You got used.

  27. Glenn E. says:

    #4 – I agree. Rick Perry will probably gut most of the DOJ, if he becomes the Prez. and AT&T will likely be one of his biggest contributors. So unless this is a very clever plan to keep Obama in office, by making it ridiculously obvious that Perry shouldn’t be elected. He’s sure to win. But he’s such an unsophisticated hayseed, and makes foot-in-mouth speeches. That it’s not very likely the GOP really wants him to take back the Presidential seat, just yet. Too many economic whoas to be blamed for not solving. Let Obama try and fix them, first. Then take the credit for it all, in 2016.

  28. Glenn E. says:

    Here’s the thing. Any corporations that DON’T depend on taxpayers’ dollars, want to merge and monopolize a business. So they can reduce manpower, and not have to compete, so their product or service can be crappy. Who ya gonna go to, if there’s nobody else.

    And corporations that DO depend on taxpayers’ dollars, maintain a diversity, as much as possible, so they can point to all that job bloat, as a reason to keep the defense dollars coming. That’s why there are defense manufacturing jobs spread out to most of the 50 states in the US. Why don’t they want to merge, monopolize, and reduce manpower? Because US Senators wouldn’t get reelected, then. Quip pro quo.

  29. immovableobject says:

    As an AT&T customer who finds signal reception spotty in the city, I was looking forward to access to T-Mobil’s towers. 🙁

    As much as competition is a good thing in general, when it comes to utilities, there is something to be said for the efficiency of a well run monopoly.

  30. ATT is really taking over


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