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AT&T Lawsuit Marks U.S. ‘Line in the Sand’ for Telecom Deals

The lawsuit seeking to block AT&T Inc.’s takeover of T-Mobile USA Inc. shows a more aggressive antitrust stance by the U.S. Justice Department that limits prospects for other big telecommunications deals, antitrust analysts said.

The suit, filed yesterday in Washington federal court, seeks to derail the $39 billion T-Mobile deal, the biggest acquisition announced this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The last transaction the Justice Department challenged whose size even approached the AT&T bid was the 2003 $8.4 billion Oracle Corp.-PeopleSoft Inc. merger.