AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: End Game?

In a surprise move, the Justice Department, AT&T and T-Mobile USA have jointly asked a federal judge to postpone court proceedings over the proposed merger, reports the WSJ today.

The comes after the companies last week urged U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle to stick with her plans for a speedy February trial.

The announcement signals that the deal as originally conceived is all but dead, reports the Washington Post.

AT&T today issued the following statement:

“AT&T and Deutsche Telekom advised Judge Huvelle this morning that they wish to stay any further Court proceedings until January 18, 2012, to allow the two companies time to evaluate all options. The U.S. Department of Justice joined in the filing.

“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. 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.”

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle quickly approved their motion to cancel their February trial and set a Jan. 18 hearing about the future of the deal.

The decision comes after Washington regulators from two agencies — the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission — sought to block the deal, saying it could lead to higher prices for consumers and stifle competition. The union would have combined the second- and fourth-largest wireless providers.

Justice sued in August to block the deal. Last month, the FCC said it would not approve it either. The Washington Post has a timeline of the troubled merger proposal.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Justice Seeks to Delay AT&T Suit, Merger Salvage Plan by AT&T, DOJ Blocking AT&T/T-Mobile Merger, AT&T Merger: More Heat, AT&T Merger: Yea & Ney, FCC Receives Pro & Con Support for ATT Merger, LTE Spectrum: It’s War , Spectrum Drama: Made for TV, AT&T MediaFLO Spectrum: More Review, T-Mobile Cuts Prices, FCC: Show Us Your Spectrum Scarcity, AT&T, Combining AWS and 700 MHz: Why?, Comparing Data Plans, ATT Announces First LTE Modems, T-Mobile Goes to 42 Mbps, AT&T Declares Spontaneous “4G” Transformation, More U.S. LTE Cities July 21, T-Mobile Makes Its (4G) Move , Multicarrier HSPA, WiMAX – Release 2.0 T-Mobile: LTE in the Future?, Multicarrier HSPA, FCC: Spectrum for Sale, AT&T Data Caps Extend to Femtocells, AT&T’s New Data Plans, T-Mobile: Now HSPA+ Coverage for 75M, Public Safety: Show Us The Money, Clear: No Limits, FCC to Okay $2.3B AT&T Deal, Cellcos: One Thing – Bandwidth

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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