Feeds

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom stall for time with DoJ

Extra month to sort out proposed T-Mobile US merger

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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The two companies had already withdrawn their application to the FCC for approval on the merger, saying they wanted to tackle the DoJ issues first.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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Will BlackBerry make a comeback with its SQUARE smartphones?
Plus PC PIMs from company formerly known as RIM
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.