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Justice Department Aims to Block AT&T/Mobile Deal

The Department of Justice is attempting to block the merger between AT&T and T

The much-anticipated merger between AT&T and T-Mobile hit a major obstacle this week when the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has filed court papers to block the deal from going through.

The deal would have created the largest wireless telecommunications company in the United States - a position currently held by Verizon Wireless. However, in a statement, the Justice Department asserted that the proposed $39 billion deal would violate antitrust laws, stifling competition in the mobile wireless market.

“The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services,” said James Cole, deputy attorney general.

Had the deal gone through, it could have had a significant impact in the enterprise sector. AT&T senior executive vice president Wayne Watts said in a statement that the merger would have allowed AT&T to expand its 4G mobile broadband to an additional 55 million customers. Additionally, the deal would have expanded the mobile portfolio of both companies.

AT&T is not sitting idle, however. The company’s CEO Randall Stephenson has said he plans to fight the matter in court, asserting that the deal would benefit consumers and the U.S. economy.