One week after the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) filed suit against the $39 billion merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, Sprint Nextel has followed with its own lawsuit that seeks to block the $39 billion deal. On Tuesday, Sprint filed its legal challenge with the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia with the expectation that its lawsuit will be consolidated with the DOJ antitrust complaint that is also pending before that court. Although some analysts believe that AT&T and the DOJ might eventually reach a settlement, others say that Sprint’s action is significant in that it could require continuation of court review even if the DOJ were to withdraw its suit. (Meanwhile, in developments pertaining to the DOJ antitrust suit, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle instructed the parties to appear on September 21 for the purpose of scheduling proceedings and to discuss “prospects for a settlement.”) In documents filed with the court, Sprint proclaimed that the merger should be blocked under Section 7 of the Clayton Act on grounds that the proposed horizontal combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in “market concentration far in excess of the thresholds established both by a long and uninterrupted line of Supreme Court precedents and by the [DOJ] and Federal Trade Commission 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines.” Sprint further argued that AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile would “eliminate one of four national competitors and marginalize a second (Sprint), pushing the market back toward a 1980s style cell phone duopoly that would force consumers to endure higher prices and be denied the fruits of vigorous innovation.” Sprint further alleged that the transaction “would leave AT&T controlling in excess of 40 percent of the national markets, and would give it the ability to exercise market power both unilaterally and in coordination with Verizon.” Although a Sprint spokeswoman said her company expects “to contribute . . . expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal,” AT&T promised to “vigorously contest this matter” as “Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers.”