U.S. Cellular Wins Dismissal of Investor's Suit Over $900 Million in Fees

U.S. Cellular Corp., a wireless telephone service provider, won dismissal of an investor lawsuit claiming its board failed to properly oversee more than $900 million in fees paid to parent Telephone & Data Systems Inc.

The Monroe County, Michigan, Employees’ Retirement System didn’t establish that it had a case, Delaware Chancery Court Judge William B. Chandler III concluded in an opinion released yesterday in Georgetown.

The investor’s complaint contains “no factual allegations” that would prove “the intercompany agreement transactions were executed at an unfair price,” Chandler wrote in the six-page opinion.

Chicago-based U.S. Cellular, with $4.21 billion in revenue last year, is more than 70 percent owned by Telephone Data, also based in Chicago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. U.S. Cellular says it’s the sixth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers.

The companies are run by the Carlson family, with Leroy T. Carlson Jr. as chairman of U.S. Cellular and chief executive officer of Telephone & Data.

Officials of U.S. Cellular and the investor’s lawyers weren’t immediately available to comment on the ruling.

Telephone & Data fell 33 cents to $30.79 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 12:22 p.m. U.S. Cellular fell 30 cents to $40.12 on the NYSE.

The case is Monroe County Employees’ Retirement System v. Leroy T. Carlson, CA4587, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

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