Feeds

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom stall for time with DoJ

Extra month to sort out proposed T-Mobile US merger

High performance access to file storage

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom have given themselves an extra month to figure out how to rescue their legislator-challenged deal for T-Mobile USA.

The US Department of Justice agreed to postpone its court case against the deal, in which AT&T snaps up Deutsche's US subsidiary, until January 18.

The telcos were due in court this Thursday to argue against the DoJ's concerns that marrying America's number one wireless carrier to its number four would decrease competition in the marketplace.

The court appearance would have come just two weeks after the Federal Communications Commission, which was also looking into the merger, made public a staff report on the firms' union that was pretty damning.

The two companies had already withdrawn their application to the FCC for approval on the merger, saying they wanted to tackle the DoJ issues first.

Nevertheless, the FCC published the report, which claimed that AT&T hadn't been entirely forthcoming with regulators about the employment and other benefits of their proposed snaffle of T-Mobile USA. The commission also questioned if AT&T really needed T-Mobile to improve their wireless capacity, the main motivator for the deal.

AT&T naturally retaliated to such criticism, saying first of all that the Commission had no right to publish the report and, secondly, that it "cherry-picked" facts to suit its analysis.

Both AT&T and Deutsche have been staying strong, at least publicly, vowing to push ahead with the merger despite all opposition and the more-or-less universal opinion that the deal is doomed to failure.

Yesterday, however, AT&T gave the first signal that alternatives might be entertained by the two companies.

"AT&T is committed to working with Deutsche Telekom to find a solution that is in the best interests of our respective customers, shareholders and employees," the firm said in a statement outlining their request to the DoJ court to put proceedings on hold.

"We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies' wireless assets," it added.

The "whether and how" bit could be in response to the rumours that Deutsche and AT&T are looking at the option of a joint venture instead of a merger to satisfy the anti-competition concerns.

The companies now have until noon on January 12 to file a "status report", which needs to include, according to the court order:

The status of their proposed transaction, including discussion of whether they intend to proceed with the transaction at issue in this litigation, whether they intend to proceed with another transaction, the status of any related proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission, and their anticipated plans and timetable for seeking any necessary approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

A hearing will then be heard on January 18. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.