The U.S. Justice Department's efforts to block the AT&T (
of T-Mobile were scheduled to begin legal procedures today when a
federal judge in
will listen to motions,
The government's position is that making AT&T even bigger will
not be good for competition. Competitor cellular services like
) and Sprint (
), respectively the
- and third-biggest services,
those opinions. Sprint and the German-owned T-Mobile, the
- and fourth-largest services, agreed on the $39 million merger
earlier this year and the federal government opposed the merger
with an August 31 filing.
While the outcome of the antitrust efforts will not be known for
several months, two high-profile officials cast their doubtful
opinions on the merger's success.
"I think it'll be hard to overturn that measure," former Vice
President Al Gore
The Washington Post, noting how infrequently the federal government
intercedes. "Both companies will try to
it back together, but they'd be well advised to start looking at
Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America,
told German publication Focus that the likelihood of a federal
court overruling the Department of Justice is roughly 20 percent.
The federal judge tasked with presiding over the case has signaled
a preference to settle the case rather than conduct a trial,
according to the International Business Times. The trial is
tentatively scheduled for February 2012.