Joined Nov 11, 2007
31,929 Blog Posts

AT&T anti-trust suit a fresh line in the sand

Read here:

The lawsuit seeking to block AT&T Inc.’s takeover of T-Mobile USA Inc. shows a more aggressive antitrust stance by the U.S. Justice Department that limits prospects for other big telecommunications deals, antitrust analysts said.

The suit, filed yesterday in Washington federal court, seeks to derail the $39 billion T-Mobile deal, the biggest acquisition announced this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The last transaction the Justice Department challenged whose size even approached the AT&T bid was the 2003 $8.4 billion Oracle Corp.-PeopleSoft Inc. merger.

The T-Mobile deal is the biggest challenged by the Justice Department since it sued in June 2000 to block WorldCom Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Sprint Corp., a deal valued at $152 billion when the companies called off the merger the following month.

With yesterday’s filing, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department departed from its strategy of approving large acquisitions after adding conditions, as it did with Comcast Corp.’s purchase of NBC Universal and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.’s merger with Live Nation Inc. Previously, antitrust authorities at the department “backed down,” said Robert Lande, a University of Baltimore law professor.

“They negotiated a compromise,” Lande said. “But this one they said, ‘No, we cannot compromise, this is anticompetitive.’”

If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter