Bloomberg News

AT&T Seeks Sprint Plans to Compete Following T-Mobile Ruling

November 03, 2011

(Updates with excerpt from filing in third paragraph.)

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. asked a judge to compel Sprint Nextel Corp. to turn over documents regarding its plans to compete in the wireless phone industry after a decision is made on AT&T’s proposed purchase of T-Mobile USA Inc.

AT&T in a filing today in U.S. District Court in Washington listed 47 areas of interest, including whether Sprint had any plans for a “business combination” with T-Mobile if the AT&T transaction is blocked. AT&T says it needs the documents to defend against the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit seeking to stop the T-Mobile deal.

“Sprint is a strong and vibrant competitor as evidenced by events in the past six months -- a fact that is critical to AT&T’s defense of DOJ’s claim that the challenged merger will dampen competition in the mobile wireless industry,” AT&T lawyer Steven Benz of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, said in the filing.

AT&T also requested Sprint’s plans to compete should the $39 billion deal be approved, as well as its analysis of the merger. AT&T is also seeking information on Sprint’s bids for government contracts over the past three years, the identities of Sprint’s business and government customers, and the number and location of proposed cell sites that Sprint planned at some point to deploy and abandoned.

John Taylor, a spokesman for Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint, declined to comment on the filing.

’Overlapping’ and ’Burdensome’

Sprint has urged Special Master Richard Levie to throw out AT&T’s subpoenas, saying its rival’s requests are “overlapping” and “burdensome.” Levie, who is handling decisions on document exchanges in the case, told AT&T last week to remove from its request any documents Sprint already provided to the Justice Department.

In today’s filing, Dallas-based AT&T said as many as 17 of 47 areas it’s interested in are satisfied by what the Justice Department has.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, who will decide the case, has scheduled the trial for February.

The case is U.S. v. AT&T Inc., 11-01560, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

-- Editors: Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at; Jeff Bliss in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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