Earlier this year we learned that T-Mobile-owner Deutsche Telekom is slated to earn $6 billion in cash and assets if its deal with AT&T falls through, but now it looks like that T-Mobile could end up missing out on that break-up fee if certain conditions of the deal aren't met. According to a source speaking to Reuters, "there are a number of options under which the (break fee) contract will not come into effect." For example, AT&T wouldn't be forced to hand over the $6 billion if the its acquisition of T-Mobile doesn't earn regulatory approval by a certain (unknown) date. Another instance in which AT&T wouldn't fork over the fee is it T-Mobile's value falls below a certain level, which could happen if regulators order that parts of the carrier be sold off in order for the buyout to be approved.
Many detractors of AT&T's proposed acquisition have been excited at the thought of what this $6 billion break-up fee could mean for T-Mobile. However, the recent antitrust complaint filed by the Department of Justice could be a problem for T-Mobile's potential payday. It was recently revealed that AT&T may have a two-step plan for getting its buyout of T-Mobile approved, which includes selling off some of T-Mobile's assets, so we'll have to wait and see what effect both it and the DoJ's suit has on the AT&T/T-Mobile deal as well as T-Mobile's $6 billion break-up fee.