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U.S. and 13 States Challenge $28B Merger of Verizon and Alltel

WASHINGTON (CN) - Seven states and the federal government say Verizon's $28 billion acquisition of Alltel will restrain competition and lead to higher cell phone rates for 83 million subscribers in 94 geographic markets. The combined company would have more than $51 billion in revenue, the governments say in their federal antitrust complaint.

Verizon and Alltel agreed to merge in June. But the feds and Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota say the merger will violate the Sherman Act and allow Verizon to raise prices and cut service in those states and 13 others. The governments want the merger enjoined. They sued in Federal Court.

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