Bursor & Fisher Law Firm Announces more than 1,000 AT&T Customers to File Arbitration Cases Challenging AT&T's Takeover of T-Mobile; AT&T Acknowledges these Cases Place the $39 Billion Merger "In Jeopardy"

Aug 09, 2011, 10:00 ET from Bursor & Fisher

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In late July, Bursor & Fisher announced a new website, www.FightTheMerger.com, where AT&T customers could retain the law firm to file arbitration cases challenging AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile under the Clayton Antitrust Act. Today the firm announced it has had more than 14,000 visitors to the website, and more than 1,000 have retained Bursor & Fisher to file arbitration cases seeking to stop the merger.  

"There seems to be a real groundswell against this merger," said Scott A. Bursor, one of the lawyers representing the customers.  "The good news is that it can be stopped.  AT&T's contracts give every customer the right to arbitration.  And we've assembled a team of lawyers standing by ready to represent them on a purely contingent basis, with no out-of-pocket costs whatsoever."

AT&T initially scoffed at the effort, arguing that arbitrators have no authority to block the merger, and the company urged the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to refuse to administer the cases.  AAA overruled AT&T's objection and began administering the cases last week.  In an August 2 letter to AAA, AT&T's associate general counsel stated these arbitrations will "place a $39 billion merger in jeopardy."  AT&T argued that "because of the industry-wide – and in fact global – implications of the proceedings, the arbitrators will be forced to develop procedures to protect the interests of all of the affected consumers, businesses, and state and federal regulators."

Barry Davis, a Miami-based trial lawyer working with Bursor, stated:  "We've assembled a team of excellent lawyers across the country who are prepared to represent AT&T customers opposing this merger.  We've spent months compiling evidence of how this merger will cause higher prices and worse service.  Our 236-page arbitration demand lays out the extensive evidence demonstrating that this merger will cause serious harm to customers.  We've hired experts who are prepared to testify at arbitration hearings across the country, and we will soon have more than one thousand arbitration cases on file, any one of which could stop this merger."    

At www.FightTheMerger.com, AT&T customers can retain these lawyers to oppose the deal with no out-of-pocket expense.  AT&T's contracts require AT&T to pay all costs of the arbitration, and provide for a guaranteed minimum recovery of $10,000 if the arbitrator finds in favor of the customer.  The $10,000 guaranteed minimum recovery was cited by the United States Supreme Court in the recent Concepcion case as a consumer-friendly provision that allowed the AT&T contract to be enforced even despite prohibiting class actions.   "We will put on a strong case, and if we win on any point, we expect to seek that guaranteed minimum recovery for every customer," said Davis.  

About the attorneys involved:
Scott A. Bursor is the founding partner of Bursor & Fisher, P.A., a New York-based law firm with offices in California and Florida.  Bursor has been the lead trial lawyer in several large class action cases against cellphone companies.  He has tried four class actions since 2008, and won all four, with awards ranging from $21 million to $299 million.

Barry Davis is the Managing Partner of Thornton, Davis & Fein, P.A., a 25-lawyer firm based in Miami.  He has nearly three decades of legal experience, and has acted as lead counsel in more than 50 trials of complex civil litigation matters.  Among them are class actions, mass disaster litigation, products liability cases involving drugs and medical devices, tires and industrial equipment, intellectual property, insurance bad faith and fraud. 

Media Contacts: Michelle Friedman or Amy Schaecter at (954) 370-8999, mfriedman@boardroompr.com or aschaecter@boardroompr.com

SOURCE Bursor & Fisher