According to the November 22nd wsj.com blog, “Munger Tolles’s Merger-Buster Joins DOJ Team”, the Justice Department confirmed in recent days that it had hired Glenn Pomerantz, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson, and an experienced litigator, to strengthen its trial team for its antitrust case against AT&T’s $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA.
Pomerantz, per the blog, has been hired as a “special government employee,” a spokeswoman said. This is the same designation given to David Boies in 1998; at that time he led the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft.
Per the blog, the spokeswoman was quoted as saying Pomerantz is “an experienced litigator with substantial expertise in trying complex litigation matters.” In addition, she was quoted as saying that he would be the “perfect complement to the team of experienced telecommunications staff, led by deputy attorney general Joe Wayland.”
In his private practice, Pomerantz has worked mostly with entertainment and media companies. He represented the major Hollywood studios and music labels. In 2011, he won a $105 million settlement for the record labels from the defunct online music sharing service LimeWire.
The hire is further evidence that the Justice Department is preparing for battle, even as AT&T tries to settle out of court. Attorney General Eric Holder recently was quoted as saying of the situation in the blog: “There is a trial team that is in place and they are ready and eager to go to court.”
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (MTO) is a California law firm that has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Charles Munger founded the firm in 1962 with six other lawyers. The firm is known for its defense of corporations in civil law suits and individuals in criminal trials and investigations. In 2008, Munger, Tolles & Olson ranked as the nation’s top law firm on the American Lawyer A-List based on financial performance, pro bono practice, associate satisfaction and workplace diversity. With nearly 200 attorneys, MTO’s work is national in scope. The firm’s principal areas of practice include bankruptcy, corporate, environmental, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and tax.
In the November 29th news.cnet.com article, “FCC report slams AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile”, the FCC, in a nearly 110 page report, said a merger of the two wireless carriers “would substantially lessen competition and its accompanying innovation, investment, and consumer price and service benefits.”
The FCC released the report in spite of AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s objections. It also accused the carriers of making misleading statements about the benefits of the merger.
Per the article, the report states: “The staff finds the applicants’ assertions that the transaction would create jobs in the United States to be inconsistent with AT&T’s internal analyses and record statements concerning cost reductions from the merger. The staff also finds that there are serious questions whether the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would cause other public harms that are not offset by the claimed benefits.”