AT&T withdraws FCC application for T-Mobile merger

AT&T said Thursday that it has withdrawn its application from the Federal Communications Commission to acquire T-Mobile USA. AT&T and Deutsche Telekom said they will instead focus on fighting an antitrust lawsuit brought against the proposed $39 billion merger by the Department of Justice. AT&T made the announcement Thursday following the FCC’s decision earlier this week to hold an administrative hearing regarding the purchase. The FCC said it was unsure the acquisition would create jobs, as AT&T has promised. Read on for more.

“AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG are continuing to pursue the sale of Deutsche Telekom’s U.S. wireless assets to AT&T and are taking this step to facilitate the consideration of all options at the FCC and 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… or alternate means,” AT&T said in a statement. “As soon as practical, AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG intend to seek the necessary FCC approval.”

AT&T also said that it expects to mark a $4 billion pretax charge in its fourth quarter 2011 earnings report that will reflect a potential breakup fee paid in cash and spectrum to Deutsche Telekom should the deal fall through. The full press release from AT&T follows below.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom Continue to Pursue Sale of DT’s U.S. Wireless Assets

Companies Withdraw FCC Applications; AT&T Expects to Recognize $4 Billion Charge; Companies Focus on Gaining DOJ Approval

On Nov. 22, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission indicated a proposed order was circulating that would designate for hearing the applications of AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG For Consent To Assign or Transfer Control of Licenses and Authorizations, WT Docket No. 11-65.  On November 23, 2011, AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG electronically withdrew without prejudice, as of that date, the pending applications listed in the Public Notice released by the Federal Communications Commission on April 28, 2011 in that proceeding.  Associated manual notification of withdrawal filings also are being mad

AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG are continuing to pursue the sale of Deutsche Telekom’s U.S. wireless assets to AT&T and are taking this step to facilitate the consideration of all options at the FCC and 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, Case No. 1:11-cv-01560 (ESH) or alternate means.  As soon as practical, AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG intend to seek the necessary FCC approval.

As a result of the FCC’s action, AT&T expects 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.

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