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T-Mobile Antitrust Challenge Gives AT&T Little Recourse

AT&T Inc. wouldn’t have much luck trying to salvage its proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA Inc. through negotiation with the U.S. Justice Department, leaving a court fight as its only recourse, lawyers said.

The combination of the country’s second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers would violate antitrust law and “substantially lessen competition,” the U.S. said in a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Washington. The Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle to block the deal, the largest announced acquisition of the year according to data compiled by Bloomberg.