Justice Dept. Questions Legitimacy of AT&T/T-Mobile Deal
Dec 7, 2011, 5:04 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The Department of Justice today said that AT&T's withdrawal of its application to acquire T-Mobile USA with the Federal Communications Commission puts into question whether or not the plan is still active. In AT&T's request to withdraw the application, it said in so doing it would either "abandon the transaction altogether" or submit a substantially changed new plan. These comments gave pause to the Justice Department, which wonders if there's even a case to now pursue. Richard Levie, a special master overseeing the DOJ’s antitrust case against the merger, says the DOJ can proceed. "The FCC-related activities have not … altered the status of this litigation," he wrote in an order today. "Although FCC approval is necessary for the proposed merger, so, too, is a favorable ruling from the federal court in this case. As there is no requirement of which the Special Master is aware that one approval must come before the other, the federal court case remains on track." The trial is set to start on February 13.
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