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AT&T files response to DOJ suit, says regulators just don't understand

Terrence O'Brien, @TerrenceOBrien
September 10, 2011
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It's no secret or surprise that AT&T is unhappy with the DOJ's decision to try and block its merger with T-Mobile. But issuing public statements is one thing, officially filing papers in court is another. Ma Bell submitted a 25-page document arguing that the Justice Department's claims represent a misunderstanding of the market and dismisses competition from "innovative upstarts," like MetroPCS and US Cellular. AT&T's lawyers point out that T-Mo, currently the fourth largest provider, has been losing customers for years and it's German parent company may not be inclined to invest much in improving it. By contrast, AT&T has spent $30 billion over the last two years to boost network quality and capacity, yet still struggles to keep up with demand. We can't say the arguments are without validity, but the government's fear of a market dominated by just three companies with little incentive to innovate or drive down prices also seems well founded. Well, the pageantry officially gets underway on September 21st, when the US District Court hearings begin.

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