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Rivals Get Limited Approval to Sue to Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

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A US judge has ruled that Sprint Nextel and regional operator, C Spire Wireless can sue to block the planned USD39 billion merger of AT&T and T Mobile USA.

Ordinarily the opponents of a merger cannot sue to block the deal, as such decisions are based on the impact of the merger on consumers - however, the issue of access to smartphones was an issue that U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle agreed could be subject to court action.

The smaller networks argued that the merger would further limit their ability to negotiate with handset vendors to secure the latest models before the larger networks were able to secure exclusive sales agreements.

The Judge however rejected Sprint's claims that the merger would result in higher network access fees being charged by the larger companies.

The US Justice Department is also suing to block the merger, which is still working its way through the process of securing regulatory approval.

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Tags: sprint nextel  c spire wireless  t-mobile usa  at&t  USA