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T-Mobile Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Sprint Merger After Appeal Denied

 |  May 16, 2024

T-Mobile US must face a proposed consumer class-action lawsuit challenging its $26 billion purchase of rival Sprint in 2020. On Thursday, the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the telecom giant’s bid to appeal a key ruling that allowed the case to proceed.

In a brief order, the appellate court rejected T-Mobile’s request to appeal a decision that granted the plaintiffs legal “standing” to pursue claims that the merger has driven up prices for wireless services, according to a report by Reuters. T-Mobile had sought to appeal this ruling immediately rather than waiting for the case to unfold in the lower court. While a trial judge approved this request in March, the 7th Circuit decided not to hear the appeal at this stage.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Verizon and AT&T customers who argue that the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has negatively impacted them by increasing service prices. They are seeking billions of dollars in damages and aim to have the merger undone through the court system.

Related: Judge Orders T-Mobile to Face Suit Alleging Anti-Competitive Practices

T-Mobile contends that these plaintiffs, being customers of its competitors, should not have the standing to sue over its merger with Sprint. Despite this contention, the lawsuit will proceed in the lower court.

Brendan Glackin, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, expressed approval of the appeals court’s decision. “We look forward to developing the record and trying the case to a jury in Chicago,” Glackin stated.

Under U.S. antitrust law, consumers and other parties have the authority to bring lawsuits concerning mergers and acquisitions. T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint had previously undergone significant regulatory scrutiny and some government litigation but was ultimately approved and completed.

Source: Reuters