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AT&T says Sprint fails to turn over documents under subpoena

Posted: , by Alan F.

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AT&T says Sprint fails to turn over documents under subpoena
How badly does Sprint want AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile to fail? Apparently badly enough to ignore a court-issued subpoena to turn over documents that would be favorable to AT&T, at least according to the latter. Back in August, the DOJ sued AT&T in reference to the possible merger and Sprint later joined the festivities on the side of the government. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the deal.

The documents covered under the subpoena issued last month show AT&T's relationships with Nextel, Virgin Mobile and Clearwire through transactions that took place after January 2004. At a hearing, AT&T says that Sprint has not turned over one piece of paper, stating that it is not required to comply with the subpoena. AT&T is asking the judge to force Sprint to hand over the documents.In it's defense, the nation's third largest carrier says that paperwork it handed over earlier should suffice, but AT&T says that this is not the case.

Sprint says the documents requested by AT&T "go far beyond ordinary, non-party merger case discovery, which focuses on the current competitive landscape, not on the details of every transaction entered into by a competitor in the last eight years." the carrier has also requested from U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle all of the documents that the court has received from AT&T. The latter is trying to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion.

source: BusinessWeek

23 Comments
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posted on 23 Oct 2011, 18:49 4

1. Phoneguy007 (Posts: 218; Member since: 02 Jun 2011)


sprint is still at it!!!!!

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 19:03 1

2. ecml490 (unregistered)


Misspelled letter. "at least according to the latter"

But anyways, I hope this deal doesn't get the green light!

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 22:16 1

10. Ivan6479 (Posts: 244; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Lol he meant what he said, as he was referring to AT&T as the latter.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 22:45

13. ecml490 (unregistered)


Yea, I noticed that after I posted it. Lol. I should of read it a little more clearer...

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 19:35 3

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5729; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


So now AT&T gets to justify why Sprint should be compelled to comply with the subpoena. Unfortunately, subpoenas get abused in litigation, and this could well be such an example. The other consideration is the PR angle - I suspect AT&T really doesn't 'need' the Sprint documents, it is just wanting to paint Sprint in a less than favorable light from a PR perspective.

If AT&T can't justify to the satisfaction of the discovery master why they need the Sprint documents, they ain't gonna get them.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 19:36 2

4. Carlitos (Posts: 320; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


I am getting the feeling that sprint isn't being completely honest here and is just being greedy. They wanted to buy T-Mobile im sure, but AT&T beat them to the punch.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 19:57 1

5. quakan (Posts: 1177; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Sprint wanted to buy T-Mobile so it could compete better with AT&T and Verizon. AT&T heard about it and decided to offer way more money than Sprint could offer so that that wouldn't happen. It's illegal to do that in hopes of eliminating the threat of competition.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 21:01 4

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5729; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Competitor A buying Competitor D to deprive Competitor B of being able to buy Competitor D happens all the time in business - check the acquisition of AdMob by Google. Steve Jobs reportedly threw a sh*tfit on the order of his sh*tfit at Google developing Android when he found out about Google beating Apple to the AdMob acquisition.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 21:50

9. crankyd00d (Posts: 191; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


The same thing happened with Google buying Motorola if I'm not mistaken, the vultures at Microsoft were flying circles around Motorola so Google had to pull the trigger :-)

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 22:43 2

12. superguy (Posts: 271; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


Compete better with AT&T and Verizon - right. Trying kludge together YET ANOTHER disparate technology and network by a cash strapped carrier that's still bleeding cash isn't the way to compete. It's the way to eliminate both T-Mobile AND Sprint from the competition.

Sprint is doing a very good job of eliminating itself from competition. We're seeing every day how Sprint is changing to be more like the carriers. Starting to tier data, getting rid of premier programs, etc. I don't see the competition and innovation happening from Sprint, and that's with T-Mobile not even being a part of AT&T.

Sprint can't really afford T-Mobile - that was the main problem. Sprint buying T-Mobile would have neither network being sufficiently invested in because Sprint wouldn't have any cash left.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 13:53

21. jsjr76 (Posts: 24; Member since: 28 Sep 2010)


I agree with some of what superguy is saying. Sprint is takuing away some of the things that made them stand out. Lets try this approach though, they have apparently been looked at by a European company for possible acquisition so they may be trying to show that they are economically viable on the same playing field. And a little extra money never hurt. Now remember, the unlimited data only applies to data cards, hotspots etc, not phones as far as elimination goes. Unfortunately for AT&T and Verizon, there will be no duoploy because its illegal. That's why they're being forced to sell off assets to balance the playing field. Just another shining example of corporate America screwing the public that's so dependent on their phones. Funny how AT&T contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the senators and representatives that may shift the balance of favor. They do it and its a contribution. We do it and go to jail

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 20:01

6. bc510 (Posts: 3; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


I don't think sprint a CDMA company would want to buy tmobile a gsm company. The issue is this merger will make sprint even less appealing to the public.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 20:57 3

7. DigitalJedi_X1 (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


You're wrong. Sprint did, in fact, attempt to to buy T-Mobile. At&t did hear about it, and wanting to eliminate the competition, offered T-Mobile more money. I believe Sprint was offering 19 billion and At&t upped the amount and offered 39 billion. But not because they need T-Mobile to survive. they don't. At&t just wants to go back to its MA Bell ways.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 22:48 1

14. superguy (Posts: 271; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


I think AT&T just wants the T-Mobile's spectrum. If it loses customers to Sprint or Verizon, oh well. It got what it wanted.

If we want to see issues like this disappear, then get on the FCC. The FCC's over-regulation is causing a spectrum shortage that cause the carriers to fight like this. Spectrum is gold - why do you think the carriers pay billions to Uncle Sam to get a slice of it?

AT&T's behind the 8 ball on spectrum right now, more so than Sprint or Verizon. Verizon's even complained to the FCC about lack of spectrum. If the spectrum was readily available, AT&T wouldn't need to buy T-Mobile for its spectrum.

Every business's desire is to get big and continue to increase marketshare, revenue and profits. It doesn't have anything to do with going back to Ma Bell ways.

If you want competition in the marketplace, and even more so than we have now, smack the FCC around.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 22:25

11. Ivan6479 (Posts: 244; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Clearly Sprint has something to hide since they are not busting out the documents as requested by the court. If they had nothing to hide they wouldn't have a problem handing over the documents.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 09:43

18. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


What the article failed to mention is Sprint's statement that the documentation Sprint ALREADY provided to the DOJ [which the DOJ must disclose to ATT] meets the requirements of the subpeona.

Whether the documentation the DOJ has [& must give to ATT] discloses the details ATT wants is debatable.
But failing to mention this paints Sprint in a bad light as:
It looks like Sprint is using non-compliance tactics.
It makes Sprint look like hypocrites who point the finger but can't take the heat.
It makes Sprint look foolish as a company who make up #s that do not hold up under scrutiny.

Personally, I belive none of which is true.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 13:13

19. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


According to SPRINT, those documents should suffice. Not according to everyone else. And there's obviously a reason they don't want the judge to see them. I think the papers AT&T wants publicized was how badly Sprint was trying to acquire TMo but got outbid. Then when they got outbid they cry the old anti-competition routine. Hipocrycey (sp?) at it's finest. If AT&T could just get TMo's spectrum and divest everything else... I'd be fine with that. Like tell the customers they need to find a new carrier instead of AT&T just absorbing them.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 00:02

15. Dee808 (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


Sprint wants the government to stop the merger but this is AT&T trying to discredit sprint in the case. As for sprint buying T-Mobile thats not going to happen now. Sprint is trying to argue that we need more that just 3 major carriers with this they have taken them selves out as a buyer for T-Mobile.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 07:11

16. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


not completely. sprint's arguement is that ATT buying tmobile would be bad for competition because it removes the cheapest carrier and puts sprint so far behind the game they would never catch up. sprint buying tmobile leaves the cheap plans in tact and puts them in a position to catch up to ATT/VZW, which .... mostly... retains the competitive marketplace.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 08:30

17. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


Sprint will not buy T-mobile.. they cannot buy T-mobile because they will be in debt for the next 7 years.. that's also the reason why Verizon is not buying Sprint..

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 13:18

20. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


TMo cannot afford to go on. That is a fact. As VZW's ceo stated... TMo does not have the means to build out its' network and infrastructure. So they either just go bankrupt and disappear or someone who can afford to put their assets to good use takes over. In this case, Verizon is already to big from their last acquisition. Sprint doesn't have the money. AT&T fits the bill. It's capitalism folks.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 18:37

23. christian_park (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 Aug 2011)


Yeah.. And thank god we do not have a pure capitalist economy. s**t we all would be f**ked. A pure capitalist economy is just as a bad if not worse then a pure socialist economy. A mix is the answer and intelligent people know that.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 18:34

22. christian_park (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 Aug 2011)


Ah so Sprint broke the law. And if I recall correctly corporations are people... So I guess Sprint shall be moving itself into prison. Because if your under a subpoena and you do not appear or failure to do something then its a felony. Hard to fight something when its been received and its been dated and stamped by the courts.

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