Justice Department Blocks AT&T, T-Mobile Merger
Looks like the AT&T - T-Mobile deal might actually fall through.
The U.S. Department of Justice this morning filed an antitrust complaint seeking to block the merger, saying it would "substantially lessen competition". “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the Justice Department said in the filing.
"We conducted dozens of interviews of customers and competitors, and we reviewed more than 1 million AT&T and T-Mobile documents," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis A. Pozen in a statement. "The conclusion we reached was clear. Any way you look at this transaction, it is anticompetitive."
AT&T has not yet commented. Sprint said it would be releasing a statement later today.
If the merger were indeed to fall through, AT&T would owe T-Mobile $3 billion in cash, as well as additional incentives such as reduced roaming fees and a few small slices of the wireless spectrum. The total compensation T-Mobile would be owed is valued at around $7 billion.
As of 11:21 AM ET this morning, AT&T's stock was down $1.58, or 5.33%, to $28.04.
Sources: Bloomberg, The Washington Post/AP