States subpoena Sprint over AT&T-T-Mobile merger

As it continues to fight against the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, attorneys general in nine states have subpoenaed the carrier in conjunction with antitrust reviews.

AT&T to buy T-Mobile

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission late last month, Sprint said it had received subpoenas and civil investigation demands from nine states as they conduct antitrust reviews of AT&T's proposed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile.

According to the June 28 letter (PDF), Sprint said attorneys general in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington have asked it to deliver "full, unredacted copies of all materials" that it has submitted to the FCC including its Petition to Deny , reply comments, "and all accompanying declarations." The carrier also said it was subpoenaed by the antitrust division of the United States Department of Justice and an AT&T told Bloomberg that it had received information requests form the same group of states.

Sprint, the nation's third-largest carrier, emerged as the most vocal critic of the bid just a week after after AT&T announced its intentions on March 20. On May 31, Sprint formally asked the FCC to block the merger and it later refuted AT&T's central argument that the acquisition is its only way to solve an impending spectrum shortage.

Though AT&T has only to seek approval for the merger from the FCC and the Department of Justice, state governments can hold up the transaction if they bring antitrust lawsuits. At the time of this writing, 26 state governors have sent letters to the FCC supporting the marriage while officials in three states, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman , said they will be taking a closer look.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.


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