Sprint Nextel and C Spire asked a federal judge on Friday to hear their complaint aimed at blocking AT&T’s $39 billion merger with T-Mobile.

The filing in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia was in reply to AT&T’s motion last week to dismiss its rivals’ lawsuits.

But Sprint and C Spire, formerly known as Cellular South, said in their joint filing Friday that they have the right to sue under antitrust laws, arguing that the deal would hurt competitors. They said they plan to present information about how the combination of the nation’s second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers would harm competition.

“This harm is the very embodiment of ‘antitrust injury,’” Sprint and C Spire wrote.

Along with the legal squabble among AT&T’s competitors, the Justice Department has filed its own complaint to the same court to try to stop the deal.

AT&T general counsel Wayne Watts said in a statement that Sprint’s suit inappropriately aims to protect an individual company.

“Antitrust law is not about protecting a particular competitor, but rather is about protecting competition, and that is why we are confident that Sprint’s complaint will ultimately fail,” he said.


Justice Department sues to block AT&T merger with T-Mobile