“One of the most anti-competitive acquisitions in history” reduced the number of U.S. retail mobile carriers, causing customers nationwide to pay inflated prices for cell phone services estimated to be in the billions
In June 2022, Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel filed a federal class action complaint against Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile, and Softbank Group challenging the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, a merger that reduced the overall number of mobile carriers in the U.S. from four to three and thereby removed all meaningful incentives for competition between the three remaining behemoths: the new T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. As a result, small businesses and consumers in the United States who subscribe to national retail mobile wireless carriers, including AT&T and Verizon customers, have paid and continue to pay billions more for wireless service than they would have.
The lawsuit seeks the restoration of competition in one of the world’s largest and most concentrated markets. Every consumer and small business in the U.S. market is paying the price of this monstrously anticompetitive merger, including AT&T and Verizon customers who no longer face any pricing challenges from the former mavericks of the telecom space.
The case follows two prior attempts to stop the deal pre-merger by the United States Department of Justice and a lawsuit by ten states. In both instances, T-Mobile made commitments to government regulators and a federal district court to continue to fiercely compete and at the same time help DISH emerge as a strong fourth competitor to replace Sprint. Neither promise was fulfilled.
In bringing this action, AT&T and Verizon subscribers seek to vindicate their rights under the antitrust laws for all nationwide wireless plan subscribers on AT&T or Verizon’s network; they seek to undo the merger, create the viable fourth competitor that was promised, and recover damages for the overcharges sustained in the interim.