AT&T sounds alarm over Sprint's Clearwire deal


"Softbank's acquisition of Sprint and the control it gains over Clearwire will give one of Japan's largest wireless companies control of significantly more U.S. wireless spectrum than any other company," Brad Burns, an AT&T vice president, said in a statement released late Wednesday. "We expect that fact and others will be fully explored in the regulatory review process. This is one more example of a very dynamic and competitive U.S. wireless marketplace, which is an important fact for U.S. regulators to recognize."

Sprint did not immediately return a request to comment.

AT&T, the second-largest mobile carrier, after Verizon, is currently looking to gain government approval of its own smaller spectrum deals with companies including NextWave, Comcast and Horizon. AT&T's statement could be seen as putting pressure on the Federal Communications Commission to approve its deals if the commission also allows Softbank to take over Sprint and Clearwire.

Sprint and AT&T have a history of animosity towards one another. Sprint was a vocal opponent of AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile last year, and sued to block the deal. The FCC and the Justice Department agreed with Sprint and filed their own actions against the merger.

Regulatory opposition forced AT&T to abandon the $39 billion deal.