Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom Withdraw FCC Application -- T-Mobile USA Merger in Doubt

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew their application to the FCC for transfer of licenses required for the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T. Without FCC approval, the $39 billion acquisition cannot proceed.

In a joint statement issued on Thanksgiving, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom said they are still seeking to complete the deal and that their next step would be to focus their continuing efforts on obtaining antitrust clearance for the transaction from the Department of Justice either through the litigation pending before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. A new application to the FCC would be made as "soon as practical."

However, AT&T said is planning to recognize a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion ($3 billion cash and $1 billion book value of spectrum) in the 4th quarter of 2011 to reflect the potential break up fees due Deutsche Telekom in the event the transaction does not receive regulatory approval.

  • The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia has set a date of February 13, 2012 to hear the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The Department of Justice lawsuit, which was filed August 31, seeks to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile on the grounds that the deal would result in "tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for their mobile wireless services."