The U.S. Department of Justice, whose approval is necessary for AT&T to buy T-Mobile USA, has filed a lawsuit to block the $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market.

The Justice Department complaint was filed Aug. 31, 2011 in federal court in Washington, D.C.. The U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law and a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the DoJ said in its filing.

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