Sprint T-Mobile merger antitrust lawsuit survives motion to dismiss

On May 16, 2024, the Chicago-based Seventh United States Circuit Court of Appeals denied T-Mobile’s request to appeal a key ruling denying its motion to dismiss, which let the case move forward. Hausfeld represents a proposed class of wireless subscribers alleging that this merger led to declining competition and higher prices for a wireless plan and is seeking to recover billions in damages and to reverse the T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint.

The suit alleges that since T-Mobile purchased Sprint in 2020, mobile service prices in the United States have been higher. According to a Finland-based research firm, Rewheel, “Five years on, the Sprint/T-Mobile 4-to-3 mobile merger made the US one of the most expensive mobile markets in the world. While monthly prices were falling and continue to fall across mobile markets and while the same was true in the US mobile market prior to the merger, after the merger prices in the US either stopped falling altogether or fell at a much slower rate. The 4-to-3 mobile merger in the US led to higher prices and consumer harm.”

Hausfeld’s Gary I. Smith, Jr. is Court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel representing a proposed class in this litigation that began in June 2022, when seven wireless subscribers sued T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom AG and SoftBank Group Corp., alleging that the merger led to declining competition and higher prices for wireless plans following the industry’s 4-to-3 merger of Sprint and T-Mobile.

According to the complaint, when Sprint and T-Mobile were challenging "industry leviathans" in the market before the merger, the average price of a nationwide wireless plan decreased by approximately 6.3% per year for a decade. Now, the subscribers claim, "the three surviving carriers have no reason to compete as vigorously for subscribers." The users have asked the court to undo the merger and recover damages for overcharges they claim were sustained following the combination.

Anthony Dale et al. v. Deutsche Telekom AG et al. (Case no. No. 22-cv-03189, N.D.Ill)

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