Another week, another problem for AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.
This time, the carrier has been sued by regional competitor Cellular South. The ninth largest mobile carrier filed the motion in Washington this week, accusing AT&T of trying to violated antitrust laws.
In the lawsuit, Cellular South said the buyout “threatens to substantially lessen competition,” adding, “The merger of AT&T and T-Mobile is anticompetitive, and will result in consumers facing higher prices, less innovation, fewer choices and reduced competition.”
This is far from the first stumbling block AT&T has faced in its desire to purchase T-Mobile. The company has also been sued by the Department of Justice over antitrust complaints as well.
That’s not a good sign when it is the government that AT&T needs to be able to sign off on the deal.
AT&T has tried to make the merger seem like a bouquet of roses, saying it will be a good thing for everyone. The company has promised to hire thousands of new employees if the deal goes through, because it will slash its customer service outsourcing and hire from within the US.
The offer that sits on the table is for AT&T to buy T-Mobile at a price of $39 billion. That cost may come down if AT&T is forced to spend a lot more money on fighting regulatory concerns. If the deal does not go through, the buyout contract states that AT&T will still hand over a huge chunk of cash for wasting T-Mobile’s time.
T-Mobile, however, has said it has no back-up plan if the acquisition falls through so this could be a huge mess just waiting to happen. Heck, it’s already a huge mess.