Leap opposes AT&T/T-Mobile USA acquisition

NEW YORK Tue May 24, 2011 9:23am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leap Wireless International Inc LEAP.O is opposing AT&T Inc's (T.N) planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA on the grounds that it would harm consumers.

Leap said on Tuesday that the elimination of T-Mobile USA, a Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE) unit, as a competitor would accelerate a trend toward "alarming concentration" in the wireless industry around the two biggest companies.

Another rival, MetroPCS Communications Inc PCS.N, had suggested that if regulators let the deal go ahead, AT&T should be forced to divest some assets.

Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N), the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider, has been the most vociferous opponent to the merger, which would make No. 2 U.S. mobile provider AT&T the biggest U.S. operator, ahead of current leader Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L).

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Gerald E. McCormick)