AT&T and the Justice Department have mutually agreed to stay an upcoming trial over the former's T-Mobile takeover plans.
the Justice Department have mutually agreed to stay an upcoming trial over the
former's proposed T-Mobile USA acquisition.
Deutsche Telekom advised Judge [Ellen] Huvelle this morning that they wish to
stay any further Court proceedings until Jan. 18, 2012, to allow the two
companies time to evaluate all options," read a Dec. 12 statement released by
AT&T. "We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current
transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals."
Telekom owns T-Mobile USA. According to the Associated Press
, Huvelle agreed with the motion.
Under the new guidelines, AT&T will file a report detailing its plans for
the acquisition by Jan. 12. A new court hearing will come Jan. 18.
2011, when AT&T announced that it wanted to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche
Telekom for some $39 billion, a number of parties reacted poorly. Some
lawmakers argued the deal would harm competition. Sprint announced its
intention to fight the merger with everything it had, eventually filing its own
antitrust lawsuit. However, AT&T executives argued the deal would prove beneficial
for the wireless industry, by reducing economies of scale while increasing the
reach of its network.
By the end of
September, though, the Justice Department had filed an antitrust lawsuit to
permanently block the buyout, and held the first preliminary hearing for a
trial. At the time, Judge Huvelle declined to combine Sprint's antitrust
lawsuit with that of government regulators.
November, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski began
circulating a draft order referring the merger to an administrative law judge
for trial. That order argued that such a merger wasn't in the public interest.
According to one FCC official
, a commission study of internal
documents obtained from AT&T and T-Mobile helped the regulators arrive at
that decision. Staff reviewing those documents concluded that the merger's
touted benefits did not align with the facts at hand. Even then, an FCC action
against the merger couldn't begin until the Justice Department concluded its
argued repeatedly that no settlement will satisfy it. AT&T responded to its
rival's campaign with a series of ads in Washington, D.C., newspapers accusing
it of being disingenuous and that rhetorical battle will almost certainly
continue to the merger's ultimate conclusion. AT&T's broader marketing
campaign claimed that swallowing T-Mobile would result in more jobs
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