Court Greenlights Sprint Case to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

Sprint won a partial victory in its legal fight to block AT&T’s proposed purchase of T-Mobile in the United States. Part of the cell service provider’s lawsuit can move forward, based on the Judge’s ruling, as can part of C Spire’s similar case, according to the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle is also allowing C Spire’s related antitrust lawsuit over wireless roaming move forward. The carrier’s cases can move forward based on concerns that they could be blocked from carrying phone models they see as necessary for their business, according the the Judge.

Sprint wants to block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

AT&T announced plans in March 2011 to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for about US$39 billion, which would make AT&T the single largest cell service provider in the U.S.

Along with Sprint’s protest to the deal over claims that it would stifle competition, the U.S. Justice Department filed its own lawsuit to block the merger. “The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services,” commented Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.

The DOJ trial is scheduled for February 13, 2012, and will run independently of the Sprint and C Spire cases.

Sprint has another competitive point in its marketshare battle with AT&T now that it is carrying the iPhone 4S. Sprint is the third carrier in the U.S. to officially get the iPhone, and C Spire will start selling the iPhone, too, on November 11.