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Sprint to FCC: Hurry up on AT&T/T-Mobile deal

The carrier has filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to move quicker in its decision on the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile.

Sprint Nextel sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on Friday asking for the agency to move with more speed in its decision on AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Sprint filed an ex parte letter to the FCC, joining Dish Network and Public Knowledge, which filed their own ex parte letters late last month. The document urges the FCC "to act promptly to designate AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile for a hearing before an administrative law judge," which is the next step if the commission is going to block the deal.

The FCC has yet to make any decision on the deal. AT&T is already facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice seeking to block the planned purchase. AT&T has argued that the Justice Department is painting an inaccurate picture of the competitive environment and doesn't understand the benefits of the deal.

Sprint has been the most vocal opponent of the deal, as it's the company with the most to lose if AT&T completes its deal with T-Mobile. A merger would mean Sprint having to face two much larger competitors in the market. The company has already filed a lawsuit to block the deal. It has argued that the consolidation would lead to higher prices and less innovation in the industry.

AT&T has countered that Sprint is acting in its own interest, and not the public good.

"For months Sprint has spoken disingenuously about their motives for opposing AT&T's merger with T-Mobile," said an AT&T representative. "That they would act in their own economic interest is not surprising. That they would expect the United States Government to be a willing partner certainly is."

Sprint, however, has regularly disclosed that its actions were in its own interest, but argued they were in line with the public.