Justice Department blocks AT&T-T-Mobile merger

The deal has faced tough opposition from consumer groups and No. 3 carrier Sprint since it was announced in March.

AT&T could challenge the Justice Department's action in court.

A failure of the deal puts T-Mobile in a difficult position. It's struggling to compete with the larger carriers, and owner Deutsche Telekom AG has said it's not willing to invest more in the venture.

However, AT&T has promised T-Mobile $3 billion in cash if the deal doesn't go through, plus spectrum rights and agreements that could be worth billions more.

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