The decision by US authorities to challenge AT&T's $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile is a bitter blow for the US telecoms giant, but it could benefit consumers, analysts said.
As it filed a lawsuit to block the takeover on Wednesday, the US Department of Justice said the takeover bid -- which would give AT&T a daunting 39-percent share of the US wireless market -- was anti-competitive.
Shares of AT&T plunged 4.6 percent on Wall Street after the DoJ's move was announced, even as the company vowed to contest it in court.
"There are really no good options for AT&T at this point," said Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, a digital-rights advocacy group in Washington.
I'd have to agree. It's either a lengthy court battle that could take years, or abandon the deal altogether. Either way, Sprint and Verizon have to be licking their chops knowing that they can continue to expand at AT&T's expense.
Here's the question: can anybody buy T-Mobile and not exceed that 39% market share mark and still remain competitive?