U.S. attorney general: DOJ 'ready and eager' for AT&T trial

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the antitrust division is prepared to go to court to halt AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers today that the Justice Department's antitrust division is "ready and eager" to pursue its lawsuit and stop AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Holder said the division is "committed to seeing this through," Reuters reported today. Holder was speaking at an oversight meeting with the Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel.

In August, the Justice Department sued to block the proposed $39 billion merger, putting the brakes on what many in the industry assumed to be a done deal. The Justice Department cited concern over competition and pricing for consumers in its lawsuit, something AT&T disputes.

The process has only gotten messier with Sprint Nextel and regional wireless carrier C Spire jumping into the fray with their own lawsuits also seeking to quash the deal.

Earlier today, the Communications Workers of America, which is the largest union for AT&T's employees, reiterated its support of the deal, saying the merger would add 100,000 U.S. jobs through the rollout of the 4G LTE network and the return of 5,000 outsourced positions.

The deal would combine the No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers and create the largest player in the nation. AT&T has said that in addition to fighting the Justice Department in court, it would seek an outside settlement as well.

The trial is set to start on February 13.

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