AT&T defends T-Mobile deal in response to DOJ suit

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? AT&T is countering the U.S. government’s attempt to block its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile by depicting the deal as a way to provide consumers with better cell phone service at lower prices.

The argument, submitted in a Friday court filing, is AT&T Inc.’s first legal response to a lawsuit that the Department of Justice filed last week in an effort to ensure T-Mobile remains independent. AT&T’s 27-page document echoed the company’s previous contention that buying rival T-Mobile will enable it to expand its mobile communications network so there are fewer dropped connections in a world where constant online access is becoming the norm.

The Justice Department believes there wouldn’t be enough competition if AT&T devours T-Mobile.

The first hearing in the case is set for Sept. 21 in Washington.