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

December 9, 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: Judge sets first hearing in AT&T anti-trust case

0 shares

Related Stories

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

September 7, 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.

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

November 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.

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

November 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.

Recommended for you

Customizing 3-D printing

September 3, 2015

The technology behind 3-D printing is growing more and more common, but the ability to create designs for it is not. Any but the simplest designs require expertise with computer-aided design (CAD) applications, and even for ...

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.