Justice Dept. Asks Judge to Delay AT&T/T-Mobile Trial
The Justice Department today argued that since AT&T has pulled its merger acquisition from the Federal Communications Commission, the issue at hand is no longer pressing and there's no need to rush to trial. It has asked the judge overseeing the case to delay the trial to some unspecified date in the future. According to the Wall Street journal, Judge Huvelle, who is presiding over the case, voiced frustration with AT&T for pulling its merger application from the FCC and said, "You could change the deal in a month and everybody's time will be wasted." Judge Huvelle also noted that since the merger application has been pulled, the urgency of the case has been reduced. The Justice Department is preparing to ask for a stay in the case -- or even withdraw it -- until AT&T refiles its merger application with the FCC. Judge Huvelle gave the Justice Department until Tuesday to file its motion, and will render a decision on December 15. AT&T asked the court to stick with the current scheduled trial start date of February 13. It argues that delaying the acquisition any more than it already has could lead to the deal's total collapse. AT&T initially expected the deal to close by March 2012, but later pushed the expected close date to June 2012. Now, even that date may be too soon. AT&T pulled its merger application so that it could focus its efforts on winning the Justice Department lawsuit.
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