Saying that the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile would “hinder wireless market competition,” the Puerto Rico Justice Department joined its federal counterpart lawsuit to block the transaction, an action News is my Business anticipated earlier this month.
The amended complaint filed was filed Friday at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. claiming the proposed transaction would result in a violation of the antitrust laws, Justice Secretary Guillermo Somoza confirmed.
“Through this action, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice seeks to ensure safeguarding the benefits of a competitive market for Puerto Rican consumers,” he said. “As the transaction is proposed, it would result in a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant geographic market for mobile telecommunications services, both in Puerto Rico, and the rest of the nation.”
The local DOJ’s action comes a month after the U.S. DOJ filed an antitrust suit to block AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, the fourth largest phone company across the United States and the third in Puerto Rico. Its acquisition by AT&T “represents the disappearance of this alternative for consumers,” Somoza said.
Puerto Rico joins seven other states that are also part of the U.S. DOJ’s claim: New York, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois.