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AT&T Files Lawsuit Against T-Mobile's Marketing Campaign Targeting Seniors

AT&T claims that T-Mobile is falsely advertising what discounts the carrier offers to seniors.

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Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read
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Last week T-Mobile took some shots at AT&T's and Verizon's respective offerings to those aged 55 or above, and now AT&T is firing back. On Tuesday the nation's third-largest wireless carrier announced that it filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile in Texas federal court. 

"T-Mobile's claims are outright dishonest and completely false. It is not the first time they have spread misleading information," Fletcher Cook, AT&T's vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement accompanying the filing. 

Cook's statement adds that AT&T "offers wireless discounts to people of all ages, including seniors in all 50 states. The only way to stop the un-truthful carrier is apparently in a court of law, and that's where we are."

At issue is a marketing campaign T-Mobile launched on Aug. 30 to tout its senior plans relative to those of its rivals, each of which has specific plans available for those who live in Florida. T-Mobile offered a number of options in the press release including the idea of creating a virtual mailbox in Florida via its "BannedSeniors.com" website or connecting with an actual real estate agent to buy land in the state. It also plugged its Essentials, Magenta and Magenta Max 55 Plus plans, which it noted are available nationwide. 

AT&T seems to have taken issue with the stunt, noting in the filing that it has a partnership with the AARP to offer a discount in all 50 states to the group's "nearly 38 million members." 

In the lawsuit, AT&T says that T-Mobile's "false and misleading descriptions and representations of fact have deceived and are likely to deceive consumers into, among other things, purchasing services from T-Mobile instead of AT&T, unfairly and unlawfully shifting income and profit from AT&T to T-Mobile." 

It adds that T-Mobile's "false and misleading statements about its own and AT&T's goods, services, and commercial activities have damaged AT&T's goodwill and reputation and are likely to impact AT&T's sales." 

AT&T has called for a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages and "preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting T-Mobile's ongoing false and misleading advertising." 

CNET has reached out to T-Mobile for comment and will update if they respond.