24 June 2019
Even without the Department of Justice in the room, the hearing on Friday on states’ challenge to T-Mobile/Sprint displayed a concentration of antitrust minds. The litigation in Manhattan federal court now features 14 state attorneys general and counsel from eight different law firms. Judge Victor Marrero noted that the proceedings pit opposing forces of nature against each other, California deputy attorney general Paula Blizzard argued for the state plaintiffs against defence counsel Steven Sunshine at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Sunshine said a settlement between the merging companies and the DOJ is imminent, and that all parties should be ready to go for a 7 October trial. Blizzard said the terms of that settlement – specifically whether the agency finds a need for fourth major competitor – could put the agreed-upon schedule in flux.