Justice Dept wants to put off AT&T-T-Mobile trial

Dec 09, 2011 By NEDRA PICKLER , Associated Press

(AP) -- The Justice Department said Friday it wants to withdraw or postpone its antitrust case against the proposed merger between AT&T Inc. and smaller rival T-Mobile USA now that the two companies pulled their application with the Federal Communications Commission to approve the deal.

The companies took back their FCC application two weeks ago after the commission's chairman came out against the $39 billion deal. The companies have said they will seek approval from a federal judge who has scheduled a February trial on the Justice Department's case, and will file another FCC application later.

The increasing government opposition is threatening the deal, with analysts now giving it only a slim chance of going through. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Joe Wayland told U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle that there's "not a real transaction" until the companies file again with the FCC, and the government plans to file a motion next week to put off the case.

Huvelle gave the government until Tuesday to do so and scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the matter. Huvelle told AT&T she was concerned the was "using" the court and wasting its time. "I have some responsibility to the taxpayers ... to make sure we aren't being used in a way we weren't intended," Huvelle said.

AT&T attorney Mark Hansen responded that the Dallas-based company did not start the court battle. The did when it sued on Aug. 31, saying the combination of the No. 2 and No. 4 cellphone companies in the country would reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.

Hansen said it didn't make sense to have both the FCC and the court trying to rule on the at the same time, so the companies decided to proceed first with the trial that's already been scheduled.

"If we can't convince the of this, we won't win," Hansen said. "We understand that."

George Cary, an attorney for T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, told the judge the deal is over if the trial doesn't proceed expeditiously.

Explore further: One man trying to bring Broadway into 21st century

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Judge sets first hearing in AT&T anti-trust case

Sep 07, 2011

The federal judge hearing the US government's lawsuit seeking to block AT&T's $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile has set a first meeting to discuss the prospects for a settlement.

FCC had 'questions of fact' on AT&T-T-Mobile deal

Nov 30, 2011

(AP) -- A report by the staff of the Federal Communications Commission says AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA provided flawed information to justify AT&T's planned $39 billion acquisition of its smaller rival.

AT&T, Telekom to press ahead with T-Mobile deal

Nov 24, 2011

Deutsche Telekom and AT&T vowed Thursday to press ahead with the planned sale of the German company's T-Mobile USA unit to the U.S. cell phone operator despite concerns raised by American authorities.

Recommended for you

Cutting congestion on the data network highway

Sep 12, 2014

Perhaps no other consumer-driven technology has made such incredible advances in such a relatively short space of time as the mobile phone. Today's smartphones are used to stream videos, access social media ...

T-Mobile to sell phones that call, text on Wi-Fi (Update)

Sep 10, 2014

T-Mobile will sell more than 100 smartphone models with a built-in feature that taps into Wi-Fi networks to make phone calls and send texts when customers can't connect to the wireless carrier's cellular network.

User comments : 0