From the Washington Post: AT&T heaped praise on Sprint and second-tier and regional wireless carriers at a recent news briefing. The praise is a critical element of AT&T’s strategy to persuade federal antitrust officials that its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile will not harm competition in markets across the country.

Sprint has already achieved substantial success in the marketplace by offering attractive pricing plans and upgrading its smartphone portfolio,” said Joan Marsh, an AT&T vice president focusing on federal regulatory affairs, at a news briefing Thursday.

In a filing Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T contends that competition would remain heated in the nation’s biggest markets.

But Eric Graham, vice president of strategic and government relations at Cellular South, said a market-by-market evaluation is outdated. Read the entire article here.