Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

Judge Ellen Huvelle approved a joint request by AT&T and the Department of Justice to delay a lawsuit regarding AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA. AT&T requested a stay in the suit on Monday and said it was working with Deutsche Telekom to prepare the best defense possible. “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,” AT&T said in a statement on Monday. The Department of Justice has also sought a delay, or an entire dismissal of the suit, since it believes a ruling is unnecessary now that AT&T has withdrawn its FCC application to purchase T-Mobile USA. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Justice Department lead attorney Joseph Wayland said recently. The pretrial proceedings for the Department of Justice’s suit against the merger will begin on January 18th, 2012.

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