AT&T moves to dismiss rivals’ lawsuits

AT&T filed motions in federal court Friday to dismiss Sprints and C Spire Wirelesss challenges to its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. C Spire Wireless was known as Cellular South until this week.

AT&T argues that the two companies do not have the appropriate legal standing to challenge the deal. 

The Justice Department has also filed suit, arguing that the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would violate antitrust law by stifling competition in the wireless market. AT&T said it plans to fight the government lawsuit in court but is willing to negotiate to address the agencys concerns.

The Sprint and Cellular South complaints should be dismissed, as both are an obvious attempt to use the court to improve their own strategic interests, said Wayne Watts, AT&Ts general counsel.

He said Sprint believes it, not AT&T, should be allowed to buy T-Mobile, while C Spire Wireless, a Mississippi-based wireless carrier, is trying to limit competition in its regional market.

Sprint and C Spire Wireless vowed not to back down.

AT&T’s motion is without merit, and Sprint will respond to it next Friday and continue to cooperate with Judge [Ellen Segal] Huvelle as she seeks to efficiently try both this case and the Justice Department’s case against AT&T,” said Vonya McCann, Sprint’s vice president of government affairs. 

Today’s motion by AT&T is routine and expected,” said Eric Graham, vice president of C Spire Wireless. Today’s motion will provide us with another good opportunity to demonstrate why AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile is blatantly anticompetitive, and will result in consumers facing higher prices, less innovation, fewer choices and reduced competition.”

Huvelle, who is presiding over the DOJ case against the merger, will rule on AT&T’s motions.

Last week, she ruled against Sprint’s motion to have access to the documents that the government and AT&T will share with each other as part of their trial.