AT&T may be prepping two-step plan to get T-Mobile acquisition approved

Published: September 2, 2011

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AT&T saw its chances of having its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile approved shrink just a bit earlier this week when the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust complaint to try and have the deal blocked. According to sources speaking with Reuters, though, the carrier already has a two-track plan in place to convince the government to approve the buyout. The first part of the plan would involve a promise to keep T-Mobile's cheaper rate plans around post-merger, addressing the DoJ's concerns about the elimination of a low-priced carrier. The other concession that AT&T may make is to sell off assets it would gain from the deal. AT&T would need to sell as much as 25 percent of T-Mobile's business in order to appease the government, Reuters's sources said.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said earlier this year that he expected that some divestitures would need to be made to get the purchase of T-Mobile approved, but now that the Department of Justice has attempted to have the deal blocked, AT&T may need to sell off more than it originally expected. It's not clear who would pick up AT&T's national assets, as a purchase by Verizon or Sprint may raise even more antitrust concerns. AT&T has asked for an expedited hearing in its case with the DoJ and, unless a settlement happens, it's been suggested that the case between the two could go to court in around two months.

Via Phone Scoop, Reuters

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