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AT&T delays expected close for T-Mobile takeover

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AT&T has delayed into the middle of next year the expected closing of its bid to take over T-Mobile USA for $39 billion.

Federal regulators are scrutinizing the deal, which would sell the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier to the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier. AT&T had originally planned to get regulatory approval and close the deal by about March.

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On Friday, the Dallas-based company is said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to have everything completed ‘in the first half of 2012.’

The AT&T takeover of T-Mobile was challenged by the Justice Department in August when it sued to block the deal, arguing that it would lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers.

‘We dispute the allegations and intend to vigorously contest the matter,’ AT&T said of the DOJ suit in its SEC filing. A trial date for the suit has been set for Feb. 13, 2012.

If AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile falls through, the company would be required to pay a ‘breakup fee’ of $ billion and then enter into a broadband roaming agreement and transfer to Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA’s parent company) ‘certain wireless spectrum.’

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

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