The Department of Justice believes it has a strong case that the $39 billion merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA is anticompetitive, but in making every effort to block the deal, it also is exposing itself — and the White House — to some major political headwinds.

The economy is widely expected to be the major issue on the 2012 campaign trail, and DOJ’s efforts to suffocate the deal are not winning the White House any friends in organized labor.

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