AT&T, Sprint receive subpoenas from states over T-Mobile deal

Both Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and AT&T (NYSE:T) said they were served subpoenas for information from nine states in connection with AT&T's proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA.

Sprint disclosed the subpoena requests in a letter to the FCC dated June 28, and said it received subpoenas from attorneys general in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, as well as from the Department of Justice's antitrust division. In the letter Sprint said it also received "civil investigation demands," which are similar to subpoenas, requiring the carrier to hand over "full, unredacted copies of all materials that it has submitted to the commission regarding the proposed transaction."

AT&T acknowledged it received the subpoenas from the same nine states. "Not unexpectedly, some state attorneys general offices have sought information about our merger, and we have responded in an appropriate and timely manner," AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris told Bloomberg.

The requests for information will not ultimately affect the regulatory approval process, which is being handled by the FCC and Justice Department, but state investigations could influence public opinion and add more pressure and scrutiny to the deal.

AT&T said in June it supplied the Justice Department with a second round of information on the deal. Sprint, which has been the most outspoken critic of the deal, supplied a raft of competitive information to the FCC in June, along with other leading wireless carriers, including Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP), U.S. Cellular and Cellular South.

The carriers were required to answer nine questions related to coverage maps, pricing, subscriber numbers, billing data, future network plans, cell site ownership, cell site and backhaul deals the carriers have with AT&T and T-Mobile, deals in general with AT&T and T-Mobile and concerns the carriers have about spectrum constraints and how they view their competitors.

For more:
- see this FCC document (PDF)
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article

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