AT&T asks Justice Department to delay court proceedings

By on December 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM.

AT&T asks Justice Department to delay court proceedings

AT&T said Monday that it, along with Deutsche Telekom, has asked Judge Ellen Huvelle to delay any further court hearings regarding AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA until January 18th, 2012. AT&T said the delay will “allow the two companies time to evaluate all options” and that the U.S. Justice Department also joined in on the filing. AT&T recently withdrew its merger application from the FCC to instead focus on the lawsuit that was brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. “AT&T is committed to working with Deutsche Telekom to find a solution that is in the best interests of our respective customers, shareholders and employees,” AT&T said in a statement. “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.” The delay makes a lot of sense, since the Department of Justice doesn’t have much of a reason to sue AT&T unless it has a merger application filed with the FCC. ”It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Justice Department lead attorney Joseph Wayland said last week. AT&T’s full press release follows after the break.  More →

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Justice Department to postpone or dismiss case against AT&T

By on December 9, 2011 at 7:15 PM.

Justice Department to postpone or dismiss case against AT&T

The Justice Department intends to file a motion next week to delay or dismiss its lawsuit against AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The DOJ originally sued AT&T to block the deal in August, and AT&T soon after decided to pull its merger application from the FCC to instead focus on the suit. In light of the withdrawal of AT&T’s merger application, however, the DOJ seemingly no longer has cause to sue. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Wayland told Judge Ellen Huvelle according to Reuters. With that, it looks we’re now watching at a giant game of cat and mouse. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently said that U.S. regulators don’t understand the wireless industry enough to see the benefits of its proposed T-Mobile USA purchase. Earlier Friday he said in an interview that ”regulators can’t keep up with the changes in the industry” and that blocking the merger will increase wireless prices for U.S. consumers. More →

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AT&T may divest 40% of T-Mobile USA assets in last bid to win merger approval

By on November 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM.

AT&T may divest 40% of T-Mobile USA assets in last bid to win merger approval

AT&T may propose to divest as much as 40% of T-Mobile USA’s assets in an effort to win approval from the Department of Justice in an upcoming lawsuit against the government agency. The DOJ sued to block the merger on August 31st, when it said “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.” AT&T is planning to divest a lower percentage of spectrum and a higher share of T-Mobile USA’s customers, Bloomberg said Monday. The divestiture may not be enough to add balance to the market, however. “It’s unlikely that the DOJ would allow a big competitor like Verizon to purchase the assets,” Macquarie Securities analyst Kevin Smithen told Bloomberg, which means AT&T may need to rely on smaller regional carriers to pick up the customers and spectrum. More →

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AT&T withdraws FCC application for T-Mobile merger

By on November 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM.

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. More →

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AT&T: FCC is preventing the creation of thousand of jobs, billions in investment

By on November 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM.

AT&T: FCC is preventing the creation of thousand of jobs, billions in investment

AT&T on Tuesday issued a statement after the Federal Communications Commission took preliminary steps toward blocking AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The FCC said it is not convinced the merger will in fact create jobs as AT&T has promised, and it said it will hold an administrative hearing to examine the deal. The hearing, however, will not take place until after the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the merger, which will go to trial in February 2012, runs its course. “The FCC’s action today is disappointing,” AT&T’s senior vice president of Corporate Communications Larry Solomon said in a statement. “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the US economy desperately needs both. At this time, we are reviewing all options.”

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FCC unsure AT&T’s T-Mobile deal will create jobs; announces court hearing

By on November 22, 2011 at 5:30 PM.

FCC unsure AT&T’s T-Mobile deal will create jobs; announces court hearing

The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that it will hold an administrative hearing to examine AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The FCC said the hearing will not begin until after the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the merger, and that case isn’t expected to go to trial until February. The hearing was decided upon after the FCC concluded in a draft order that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal might not be in the best interest of the public and could result in job losses. The government agency also said that the burden will be on AT&T and T-Mobile to prove otherwise. Read on for more. More →

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DOJ wants more info on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility purchase

By on September 29, 2011 at 8:50 PM.

DOJ wants more info on Google’s planned Motorola Mobility purchase

The United States Justice Department has issued a request for more information from Google and Motorola Mobility concerning the search giant’s planned $12.5 billion acquisition of the phone maker. Google senior vice president Dennis Woodside explained that his company is still confident the deal will be approved. “We believe very strongly this is a pro-competitive transaction that is good for Motorola Mobility, good for consumers, and good for our partners,” he said, noting the “second request” form the DOJ was routine. “While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes. We’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review.” Google announced in August that it intends to purchase Motorola Mobility and, shortly after, CEO Larry Page noted that Motorola’s patent portfolio will help Google’s Android partners against competitors. Despite public statements in support of the acquisition from HTC, Samsung and other Android heavy hitters, BGR has argued the purchase could potentially spell trouble for Motorola’s competitors. More →

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AT&T: Sprint has been lying for months about motives for opposing T-Mobile merger

By on September 22, 2011 at 3:20 PM.

AT&T: Sprint has been lying for months about motives for opposing T-Mobile merger

The already-bloody battle over AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA recently became an all-out war. Sprint has been vocal with its opposition of the merger since day one, and comments from company CEO Dan Hesse on Wednesday may have shed some light on a previously undisclosed reason for Sprint’s stance. “I don’t believe that what the DOJ said in any way, not even a little bit, should be viewed as we want to keep four,” Hesse said at an investor conference. “My view is [the Justice Department] would look at other consolidation very differently.” Hesse went on to suggest that a “very strong argument” could be made that regulators would approve a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. In light of these comments, AT&T has gone on record in stating that Sprint has been lying about its motives for the past several months. Read on for more. More →

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Verizon goes to bat for AT&T, defends T-Mobile merger

By on September 22, 2011 at 8:10 AM.

Verizon goes to bat for AT&T, defends T-Mobile merger

Verizon Communications chief executive Lowell McAdam has gone on record in suggesting that the company’s biggest rival, AT&T, should be allowed to complete its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “That match had to occur,” McAdam said at an investor conference on Wednesday, warning that the government has no choice but to allow such mergers unless it can focus on getting telcos the increased spectrum they need to operate. He continued, “We need to be very thoughtful on what the impacts would be to the overall industry if this is a way to regulate the industry without actually passing regulation.” Read on for more. More →

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T-Mobile still confident acquisition by AT&T will proceed

By on September 19, 2011 at 8:50 AM.

T-Mobile still confident acquisition by AT&T will proceed

T-Mobile on Friday issued a new statement to the press, reasserting its belief that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA will ultimately be approved. Last week, attorneys general from seven states joined the United Stated Department of Justice’s lawsuit attempting to block the $39 billion deal. The DOJ’s suit argues that the takeover would eliminate T-Mobile as “an independent, low- priced” wireless option for U.S. consumers, adding that it would also remove a great deal of competition from a market already dominated by giant telcos. T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs Tom Sugrue disagrees, obviously, and he says the merger will benefit consumers rather than harm them. “Given the numerous benefits the merger will bring to consumers, businesses, and the US economy in the form of greater innovation, enhanced competition, and increased jobs, we remain confident that the facts will prevail and the acquisition will proceed,” Sugrue said in a statement to the press. AT&T and T-Mobile have made consistent arguments in favor of the deal since it was first proposed but the companies have a long battle ahead, with opponents that now include Sprint, multiple U.S. states and the U.S. government.

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DOJ vs. AT&T hearing set for September 21st

By on September 7, 2011 at 3:45 PM.

DOJ vs. AT&T hearing set for September 21st

Federal Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle set a hearing for the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against AT&T for September 21st, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. “The parties shall be prepared to discuss the prospects for a settlement” on that date, Huvelle said. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA on August 31st and said “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.” AT&T responded and said it would ask for an expedited hearing and that the DOJ has the “burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and [AT&T intends] to vigorously contest this matter in court.” AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and the Department of Justice have been asked to file the initial paperwork for the hearing by September 16th. More →

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Sprint sues to block AT&T/T-Mobile merger

By on September 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM.

Sprint sues to block AT&T/T-Mobile merger

Sprint announced on Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit with a federal court in the U.S. District of Columbia in an effort to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. The suit is related to the Department of Justice’s lawsuit, which was filed on August 31st. “Sprint opposes AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile,” Sprint’s vice president of litigation Suzan Haller said. “With today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.” Sprint argued that the merger will “harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation” and said it will “entrench the duopoly of AT&T and Verizon” by allowing those two carriers 90% of U.S. wireless profits and more than three quarters of the market. Sprint also said the merger would “harm Sprint and other independent wireless carriers” and would give AT&T control of backhaul, roaming and wireless spectrum. AT&T responded to the DOJ’s suit last week and said the deal is in the best interest of consumers and the “facts will prevail in court.”  Read on for the full press release from Sprint. More →

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With or without AT&T/T-Mobile merger, analyst says Sprint already lost

By on September 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM.

With or without AT&T/T-Mobile merger, analyst says Sprint already lost

Lead by chief executive Dan Hesse, Sprint has likely been the most vocal opponent of AT&T’s proposed $39 billion T-Mobile USA acquisition. The Department of Justice announced last week that it was filing a lawsuit in an attempt to block the deal, and while AT&T was none too happy with the newsSprint predictably responded by applauding the DOJ’s decision to fight the merger. But even if the merger is blocked, Sprint has arguably already lost to AT&T and Verizon Wireless according to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Christopher King. “It essentially maintains the status quo, which, given the results of Sprint over the last couple of years, is not the best place to be,” King told The New York Times. Read on for more. More →

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