(Updates with Justice Department’s comment in third paragraph.)
Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Sprint Nextel Corp., the third- largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, rose as much as 9.9 percent after the U.S. government sued to block rival AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc.
Sprint Nextel jumped 28 cents to $3.83 at 11:10 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading after touching $3.90. Shares of the Overland Park, Kansas-based company had slumped 16 percent this year before today.
The Justice Department, in a complaint filed today in federal court in Washington, said the AT&T deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market. The U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, would violate U.S. antitrust law and a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the transaction.
The purchase would combine the second- and fourth-largest mobile-phone carriers in the country, surpassing No. 1 Verizon Wireless.
--With assistance from Tom Schoenberg in Washington. Editors: James Callan
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