A group of state attorneys general, including Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel, are filing a lawsuit to block T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion bid for Sprint, citing consumer harm.
The state AGs say the merger would hurt competition and drive up prices for cellphone service.
It’s an unusual step ahead of a decision by federal antitrust authorities. The Justice Department’s decision is pending. The Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission supports the deal.
“We cannot sit idly by while two of the biggest companies in the country attempt to join forces, eliminating competition between Sprint and T-Mobile and likely raising prices by nearly 10 percent,” said Nessel.
The companies say they need to bulk up to upgrade to a fast, powerful “5G” mobile network that competes with Verizon and AT&T. The companies are appealing to President Donald Trump’s desire for the U.S. to “win” a global 5G race. Consumer advocates and Democratic lawmakers worry about price increases and job cuts.
Other attorneys general joining Tuesday’s lawsuit are from Connecticut, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin.