AT&T Retaliates To Arbitrations Suits With Their Own Suit
You’ll have to bear with me on this one because as I am in the UK I find it hard to understand how a carrier can actually have a clause in their contracts with customers that makes sure a customer can’t sue the carrier no matter what, seems ridiculous to me but that’s US law for you and I’m pretty sure it isn’t the case over here.
However on to the matter at hand, as you may know several AT&T customers have signed up for arbitration with law firm Bursor & Fisher in an attempt to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA, and now AT&T has retaliated in kind according to AllThingD.
Apparently the clause in AT&T contracts cannot be use for this purpose claims AT&T saying, “This merger will provide tremendous benefits for customers and unleash billions of dollars in badly needed investment, creating many thousands of well-paying jobs that are vitally needed given our weakened economy – a fact that’s been recognized by consumers, public officials and groups of all types.”
However AT&T goes on to state, “However, the bottom line here is an arbitrator has no authority to block the merger or affect the merger process in any way. AT&T’s arbitration agreement with our customers – recently upheld by the Supreme Court – allows individual relief for individual claims. Bursor & Fisher is seeking class-wide relief wrapped in the guise of individual arbitration proceedings, which is specifically prohibited by AT&T’s arbitration agreement. Accordingly, the claims are completely without merit. We have filed suit in order to stop this abusive action.”
Personally I don’t really understand how US law works so shouldn’t really comment, but if some AT&T customers are against the merger then I would have thought they would at least have the right to express their views on the matter and seek legal action if required, but it seems that AT&T has all the legal bases covered when it comes to any of their customers bringing a lawsuit against them for whatever reason.
Can’t say I find this situation fair on the customer, but then when the little people are dealing with the big corporate companies well nothing is really fair. No doubt AT&T will block the attempt and win the day as most big deals end up being all about the money anyway.
Of course AT&T could be magnanimous and say if 1000 of our customers have a problem with the acquisition then send us your reasons why and we will at least listen to those customers before telling you to take a hike.