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AT&T granted approval to withdraw T-Mobile merger application from FCC

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:37PM EST

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The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday granted AT&T permission to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Two public policy groups, Public Knowledge and Media Access Project asked the FCC to publish its documents relating to the deal and to prevent AT&T from rescinding its application, although it appears it’s too late for that to happen. AT&T announced its intention to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA on November 24th when it explained that it was going to instead focus on a lawsuit brought against it by the Department of Justice. That case is expected to kick off in February. Should AT&T win, it is likely the wireless carrier will re-file its application with the FCC and begin its acquisition process all over again. Public Knowledge and Media Access Project have argued that AT&T will have unfairly exhausted the resources of its competitors by the time it re-files for the merger.