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Judge rules Sprint can keep suing to stop AT&T-Mo

Sprint and CSpire Wireless, which was formerly called as Cellular South can move forward with their joint lawsuit to try to stop the AT&T proposal to buy T-Mobile, a merger that the U.S. Justice Department has also brought the trial to stop in a separate proceeding. On  last Wednesday evening Judge Ellen Segan Huvelle concluded, that Sprint and CSpire demonstrated that they would be affected if the AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-mobile were completed, and let the suit from the two corporations to go ahead.

The judge thrown away some of the facets of Sprint and CSpires case but left a few factors related to devices for the two companies to prove out in court. Strikingly, Huvelle accepted that the two operators could be threatened by AT&T/T-Mobile’s “monopsony power” – in terms of its ability to get handsets and make it with much pleasing, special deals. Stifle Nicolaus cites that by doing so, Judge Huvelle  has found out the merger’s national implications, which are a significant part of the DOJ’s case, though most of the focus was on the market for wireless services.

Susan Z. Haller, vice president – litigation, Sprint, reported a statement as follows:

Along with the Justice Department and a bi-partisan group of Attorneys General from seven states and Puerto Rico, Sprint has concluded that the transaction would give AT&T the ability to raise prices, thwart competition, stymie innovation, diminish service quality and stifle choice for millions of American consumers. We are pleased that the Court has given us the chance to continue fighting to preserve competition on behalf of consumers and the wireless industry.”

Eric Graham, VP of Strategic & Government Relations for C Spire Wireless added:

The Court’s ruling today will ensure that all parties harmed by AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile will have the benefit of a fair hearing. C Spire is pleased that it will have the opportunity to continue its fight for American consumers, and for the principles of competition and innovation that should drive the wireless industry.

Update: AT&T made a unpleasing success. Follows a statement from Wayne Watts, senior executive vice president and general counsel:

We are pleased with the ruling that dismisses the vast majority of the claims of Sprint and CellSouth. We believe the limited, minor claims they have left are entirely without merit.

But it still could, by a Pyrrhic Victory, as all this lets Sprint and C Spire to make a try to prove their claims in court. There are chances for the court may still decide that the deal would not cause the two firms much more harm. However, in the mid of all this legal struggling by Sprint, C Spire, the DoJ and the seven state attorneys general who are all suing to stop the deal, where is the FCC’s decision? Sure it’s asking questions, but when will deal watchers get some answers?

Source: gigaom

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