AT&T said that wireless competition remains fierce -- prices are declining, innovation is occurring, and new providers are entering the business. Specifically, the company pointed to competitors such as established providers Verizon
AT&T also said that the Justice Department complaint does not explain how T-Mobile, which AT&T says has lost subscribers despite being in a robustly growing market, provides any unique competitive threat against AT&T. "Although the transaction will remove T-Mobile as an independent competitor, no significant consumer harm will result," AT&T said. "For the past two years, T-Mobile has been losing customers, despite growing demand, and without the spectrum to deploy a 4G LTE network."
The company also discounts the Justice Department's claims that T-Mobile is a "challenger brand" that offers disruptive pricing. AT&T instead says that T-Mobile's business model remains "stuck in the middle" between larger providers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint and lower-priced competitors MetroPCS and Cricket.
AT&T also reiterated its prior claims that without the merger, it will continue to experience capacity constraints, and millions of customers will be deprived of faster and higher-quality service.
In a statement that accompanied the filing, AT&T said it is seeking an expedited hearing on the matter and that it remains open to finding a solution to the DOJ's problems with the T-Mobile merger.
The company and the DOJ are scheduled to present their case to U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle during a hearing on Sept. 21. Sprint filed its own lawsuit against the deal, and Huvelle is also expected to be hear that case.
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