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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

AT&T sues customers seeking to block T-Mobile deal, (NYSE: T)

AT&T Inc (T.N) is turning to the federal courts to thwart an effort led by law firm Bursor & Fisher to derail AT&T's $39 billion takeover bid for Deutsche Telekom AG's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile. In eight lawsuits filed last week, AT&T accused Bursor & Fisher and a second plaintiffs' firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, of trying to pressure AT&T into "an extortionate settlement" by encouraging AT&T customers to file multiple claims against the merger. Bursor & Fisher launched a "Fight the Merger" campaign in July, saying the megadeal would violate federal antitrust law and restrict competition. So far, Bursor & Fisher has filed 26 arbitration demands and more than 900 notices of dispute on behalf of AT&T customers who oppose the merger. In the lawsuits filed last week, AT&T argued that the claims, brought under antitrust law, could not be decided in arbitration. AT&T accused the firms of "taking a thousand bites at the apple" in hopes of finding one arbitrator willing to block the merger. The suits are a dramatic turnaround for AT&T, which just last November argued strongly in favor of arbitration in the U.S. Supreme Court case, AT&T v. Concepcion.

AT&T Inc. is a holding company. The Company is a provider of telecommunications services in the United States and worldwide. Shares of T traded higher by 1.32% or $0.38/share to $29.17. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $26.20 and as high as $31.94. On average, 26477300 shares of T exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 25075892.