American telecom giant AT&T submitted a defense of its takeover bid for T-Mobile on Friday in response to the US government\'s lawsuit seeking to block the $39 billion mega-merger. In the filing with the US District Court here, AT&T rejected the Justice Department\'s claim that the deal would be anti-competitive and said it would benefit consumers. \"Rather than substantially reducing competition, the combined firm will usher in more intense competition to an already vibrantly competitive market,\" AT&T said. \"T-Mobile is losing customers and subscriber shares in a growing market, is not a unique or material competitive constraint on AT&T, and will not be one going forward in the absence of this transaction,\" it argued. The Justice Department filed a suit on August 31 to block AT&T from taking over T-Mobile, saying the deal would harm competition. US District Judge Ellen Huvelle has ordered lawyers for the Justice Department, AT&T and T-Mobile, the US unit of Germany\'s Deutsche Telekom, to attend a meeting on September 21 to discuss the prospects for a settlement. She has also asked them to prepare a schedule for managing the case if it goes to trial.