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Sprint suing to stop AT&T's T-Mobile buyout

Sprint Nextel has filed a lawsuit to stop AT&T buying T-Mobile USA. Sprint joins the U.S. Department of Justice in opposing the deal.

It's dog-eat-dog in the world of tech. Just check this graph to see who's suing who in the telecoms trade alone. Well now we can add Sprint Nextel to that list, as it's suing to stop AT&T buying T-Mobile USA. Handbags at the ready.

Sprint joins the U.S. Department of Justice in opposing the $39billion (£24billion) deal, claiming it would mean higher prices for consumers and create a duopoly between AT&T and Verizon Communications.

"AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile is brazenly anticompetitive," Sprint said in court papers. It complained it would be left marginalised and that the deal would harm consumers, leaving them to "endure higher prices and be denied the fruits of vigorous innovation." So seems it's looking out for us, as well as itself.

Sprint is claiming the proposed acquisition is a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act. It also said the combined might of AT&T and T-Mobile would be able to exert control over roaming and spectrum, and that it would dominate so much it would exclude competitors. It possibly also said it would storm downtown Tokyo, shooting lasers from its eyes and breathing fire.

"With today's legal action we… expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal," said Susan Haller, Sprint's vice president of litigation, in a press release.

The action was filed to the same judge in Washington D.C. who saw last week's lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice. Both claim the same point, that eliminating T-Mobile as a competitor would raise prices and harm consumers. The deal was announced five months ago.

Previously, AT&T has claimed the takeover would improve services for customers, especially in rural America. It also pledged to bring 5,000 call centre jobs back to the U.S. if the deal went through.