Connect with us

International Circuit

T-Mobile loses bid to appeal key ruling in Sprint merger lawsuit

T-Mobile US must face a proposed consumer class-action lawsuit challenging its $26 billion purchase of rival Sprint in 2020, after a court on Thursday turned down the telecom giant’s bid to appeal a key ruling that let the case move forward.

In a brief order the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied T-Mobile’s request to appeal a decision that said the plaintiffs have legal “standing” to pursue their claims that the merger has driven up prices for wireless services.

T-Mobile had sought to appeal the ruling now rather than waiting for the case to play out in the lower court. A trial judge granted the request in March, but the 7th Circuit declined on Thursday to hear the case immediately.

The plaintiffs suing T-Mobile are Verizon and AT&T customers, and T-Mobile contends they should not be allowed to sue over T-Mobile’s completed merger with Sprint. The lawsuit seeks billions of dollars in damages, and the plaintiffs want the courts to undo the combination.

Brendan Glackin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said they welcomed the appeals court’s ruling. “We look forward to developing the record and trying the case to a jury in Chicago,” he said.

U.S. antitrust law gives consumers and others power to bring lawsuits over mergers and acquisitions. T-Mobile’s Sprint deal faced regulatory scrutiny, and some government litigation, but the deal moved ahead. Verizon and AT&T are not defendants in the lawsuit.

T-Mobile has called the consumers’ lawsuit “unprecedented,” and said the plaintiffs’ damages were “speculative.”

In opposing T-Mobile’s bid for an immediate appeal, the plaintiffs argued that the case could become mired at the 7th Circuit for years, which would only make it harder to unwind a merger that is already four years old.

The appeals court on Thursday called the issue of “standing” a legal question “subject to substantial disagreement.”

But the court said further progress at the trial court and development of “actual evidence” in the case would help decide the issue.

The case is T-Mobile US Inc v. Anthony Dale et al, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 24-8013. Reuters

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2024 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!