U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger explained the Department of Justice waited too long to intervene in the situation to attempt and disqualify Glenn Pomerantz, who had represented the division in 2011 as it ceased AT&T’s buy of T-Mobile, along with his law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson.
Lehrburger dominated at a hearing in Manhattan federal court, less than three months prior to a scheduled Dec. 9 trial to ascertain if T-Mobile, the third-largest U.S. electric company, may proceed with its merger with Sprint, the fourth-largest.
Attorneys general from the 15 states and Washington, D.C. assert that the merger will increase costs and harm customers, particularly poorer ones. Pomerantz and his company represent California, the biggest of the 15 nations.
Lehrburger stated the Justice Department understood in mid-April regarding Pomerantz’s planned function and shouldn’t have waited until a couple weeks prior to the scheduled trial – and following the first Oct. 7 trial date to talk.
“The branch could have, and should have, moved considerably sooner,” Lehrburger stated, speaking to the Justice Department’s antitrust division.
Lehrburger, who manages many pre-trial things from the event of U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, stated disqualifying the nations’ attorneys would lead to”extreme bias” to either side at a”very complicated” merger situation.
In addition, he said it would bias the general public, who had a fascination with seeing a settlement”earlier rather than later.”
Lawrence Reicher, an attorney for the U.S. government, had contended that there was a”substantial relationship” between Pomerantz’s job in 2011, when he had access to the government’s documents, and the present case.
“The United States’ paramount interest is maintaining our confidential data,” he explained.
T-Mobile’s buy of Sprint has gained conditional approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.
That acceptance requires the companies to divest Sprint’s prepaid companies, such as Boost Mobile, to satellite TV firm Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) and supply it access to 20,000 mobile sites and countless retail locations.
“We’ll be persistent in this struggle for customer choice and actual rivalry,” he explained in a statement.