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Sprint ordered to hand over internal docs to AT&T

The tug-of-war battle between the two over the fate of AT&T's T-Mobile USA acquisition continues as AT&T scores a victory.

AT&T recorded a minor victory after Sprint Nextel was ordered to hand over internal documents to its rival.

The two companies continue to be bitterly locked over AT&T's proposed acquisition of Mobile USA, which Sprint has fiercely fought against. U.S. Special Master Richard Levie ruled yesterday that Sprint would have to hand over additional critical documents to AT&T that it hadn't already given to the U.S. Justice Department, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported yesterday.

AT&T had originally sought even more documents, which give insight into Sprint's game plan and provide details over just how badly it was hurt by its competitors. But the company was forced to scale back its request. A similar request by Sprint to get AT&T's internal documents was denied.

AT&T said the documents are critical in helping it build its case as it prepares to go to trial with the Justice Department, which has sued to block the merger. Among those documents was whether Sprint was interested in pursuing its own deal with T-Mobile if AT&T's deal falls through. In addition, Sprint and C Spire have filed their own lawsuits blocking the merger, which a judge last week let go through.

Sprint has argued that the AT&T-T-mobile combination would hurt competition, raise prices, and hurt innovation in the industry.

A Sprint spokesman declined to comment. AT&T wasn't immediately available to comment to CNET.

A trial between AT&T and Justice Department is scheduled to start in February. AT&T has said it is pursing a possible out-of-court resolution as well.

In a recent filing, AT&T pushed back the target of its merger completion date to the first half, rather than the first quarter of the year.