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Sprint asks FCC to block AT&T and T-Mobile deal on anti-competitive grounds

May 31, 2011 |  4:09 pm

Sprint Sprint doesn’t want AT&T anywhere near T-Mobile and is seeking to block a $39-billion consolidation of the two telecom firms.

Back in March, AT&T said it was acquiring T-Mobile USA, a deal that if approved by regulators would allow AT&T to grab the mantle of the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. would fall far behind in second and third place, respectively.

On Tuesday, Sprint formally asked the Federal Communications Commission to stop the deal from going through, saying that the purchase would create an anti-competitive market.

An AT&T and T-Mobile giant, according to Sprint, would result in higher prices for consumers and stalled innovation and investment. But the deal would “uniquely position the Twin Bell duopolists of AT&T and Verizon as the gatekeepers of the digital ecosystem.”

Instead of dumping $39 billion on T-Mobile, Sprint suggested that AT&T spend part of the money expanding its congested network instead of “simply seeking a government bailout for problems of its own making.”

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-- Tiffany Hsu [follow me]

Photo: Daniel Hesse, chief executive of Sprint Nextel Corp., testifies at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the AT&T-T-Mobile merger May 11. Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

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