Law Firm Tackles AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

July 26, 2011 -

New York-based law firm Bursor & Fisher, P.A., has launched "Fight The Merger," an initiative to stop the proposed $39 billion merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The firm, which has in the past sued both AT&T and T-Mobile separately on behalf of their customers, has signed up a few dozen AT&T customers to oppose the unpopular merger.

The web site for the initiative claims that a successful takeover would mean that AT&T and Verizon controlling around 80 percent of the market in the U.S. It further argues that the deal would hinder innovation and limit consumer protection from high prices. Sprint would be the only nationwide competition to AT&T and Verizon, and it has vocally opposed the merger as well.

Bursor & Fisher plan to throw a wrench in the works by using AT&T's arbitration clause in its contracts to take it task. The firm will use the Clayton Antitrust Act to allow those who would be affected by a merger with "monopolistic implication" to prevent the merger from being completed. The firm says it is in its ability to use AT&T’s own Arbitration Agreement to stop the merger, despite a customer agreement that keeps individual customers from suing AT&T. If AT&T does not "cease and desist within 30 days," the firm plans to file a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association.

AT&T has dismissed the Fight The Merger initiative, telling Ars Technica that "the claims made by the Bursor & Fisher Law Firm are completely without merit." A spokesperson said that "an arbitrator has no authority to block the merger or affect the merger process in any way. Our arbitration provision allows customers to resolve their individual disputes with AT&T in a prompt and consumer-friendly manner.”

Only AT&T Wireless account holders with a billing address in the United States can sign up with Fight The Merger.

Source: Ars Technica


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