AT&T and Deutsche Telekom discussing whether to kill T-Mobile deal
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AT&T Inc. said Monday it was ‘actively considering whether and how to revise’ its troubled $39-billion bid to buy T-Mobile USA, signaling the end might be near for the huge telecommunications deal.
AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s German owner, issued a joint statement saying they had asked for a stay in the Justice Department’s antitrust suit challenging the deal and were trying to figure out if there was a way to rescue the transaction. The two companies wanted time ‘to evaluate all options,’ they said in a joint statement.
‘AT&T is committed to working with Deutsche Telekom to find a solution that is in the best interests of our respective customers, shareholders and employees,’ the statement said. ‘We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies’ wireless assets.”
The companies joined with the Justice Department on Monday in asking the federal judge handling the antitrust suit to stay the case. On Friday, the Justice Department told U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle that the suit no longer needed to be expedited because the companies had withdrawn their separate application for approval of the deal by the Federal Communications Commission. Both the FCC and the Justice Department would need to sign off on the sale.
The FCC’s staff issued a blistering report last month saying the deal was not in the public interest because it would lead to higher prices and would not create jobs.
-- Jim Puzzanghera in Washington