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Cellular South shots antitrust lawsuit against AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile

We are starting to see a strong coalition movement in the form of lawsuits against AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. First it was the United States Justice Department and several State governments, then Sprint, and now Cellular South is following suit. Cellular South is a privately held wireless carrier based in Mississippi that provides service to customers in select southern regions of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Yesterday, Cellular South filed a lawsuit in DC federal court charging AT&T would be violating US Antitrust laws with their proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. According to reports from Phone Scoop, Cellular South Vice President for Strategic & Government Relations had this to say:

“AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile would profoundly impact the interests of the wireless industry as a whole…If AT&T were to complete this deal, not only would it substantially lessen competition, but it would essentially consolidate the market into the hands of the ‘Big Two’ – AT&T and Verizon. Today’s filing is another step in Cellular South’s unwavering effort to pursue the best interests of competition, wireless consumers, and our nation’s economy.”

Cellular South further claims that such an acquisition would make it difficult for regional carriers to quickly acquire new devices at competitive prices and would also place an unhealthy monopoly on a big section of roaming control and in turn equal higher roaming charges. So it appears that the story seems to be the same all around. This deal would hurt innovation, cripple competition, and poorly affect customers. We are eager to see what has happened this time next year, when surely this matter would have either been stopped or allowed by then.

[spoiler]Cellular South Files Suit to Block AT&T’s Takeover of T-Mobile

Washington, D.C. – Cellular South today filed suit to block AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile. The suit was filed under Section 7 of the Clayton Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit has been filed as a related case to both the Department of Justice (and seven state Attorneys General) and the Sprint Nextel antitrust litigation against the proposed transaction.

Cellular South’s complaint states that AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile must incorporate a review from the perspective of regional carriers, like Cellular South.

“AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile would profoundly impact the interests of the wireless industry as a whole,” said Eric Graham, Cellular South Vice President for Strategic & Government Relations. “If AT&T were to complete this deal, not only would it substantially lessen competition, but it would essentially consolidate the market into the hands of the ‘Big Two’ – AT&T and Verizon.”

Graham added: “Today’s filing is another step in Cellular South’s unwavering effort to pursue the best interests of competition, wireless consumers, and our nation’s economy.”

Cellular South’s complaint explains that further consolidation of market power in the hands of AT&T and Verizon would mean that:

– regional carriers, like Cellular South, will not be able to obtain the latest wireless devices in a timely fashion and at a reasonable cost;

– Cellular South and other regional carriers will be forced to pay higher roaming prices – assuming that they are able to obtain roaming agreements at all; and

– consumers throughout the country will face higher prices, less innovation, fewer choices, and reduced competition.[/spoiler]

Learn more the author of this post:

Solomon Massele
Solomon is our Senior Managing Editor here at TekGoblin and he is also a columnist for Best Buy Mobile Magazine. He has been a technology enthusiast for years and currently contributes to companies such as TekGoblin, Best Buy Mobile Magazine, and others in the past such as SPJ Reviews. You can keep up with his updates on Twitter at @iceman7679 and his visual tech related reviews on YouTube at www.youtube.com/iceman7679. He loves everything tech, and talking about it!
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