Sprint, T-Mobile Approval Tees Up Rare Antitrust Courtroom Duel

August 01, 2019

Joel Mitnick comments on a court challenge by state attorneys general that Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. must clear before they can consummate their union. It isn’t their only legal hurdle – the companies must also get a Washington federal judge to sign off on the deal.

Excerpts from “Sprint, T-Mobile Approval Tees Up Rare Antitrust Courtroom Duel,” Bloomberg Law, August 1, 2019:

“It is an unprecedented duel of enforcement lawsuits,” Joel Mitnick, an antitrust partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP, said. “It will be very interesting to see what happens.”

Opponents of the Sprint, T-Mobile deal, including the state officials, have 60 days to submit comments as part of the formal record under the Tunney Act. The Justice Department likely will file those public comments with Judge Kelly and then ask the court to formally approve the settlement.

“The states certainly have the right, as any other citizens do, to submit comments and the public comments could be considered by the court,” Mitnick said.

The DOJ’s proceedings in Washington will likely conclude before the state attorneys general suit wraps up. “It’s probable that the court’s sign off in the Tunney Act proceedings could improve the Sprint- T-Mobile deal,” Mitnick said. “It may have influence on the court in New York but likely isn’t binding on the court’s ultimate decision,” he added.

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