AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile USA is on ever more shaky ground, after AT&T said it had requested a delay to the court proceedings in order to “allow the two companies to evaluate all options.”
In a statement, the company said: “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. 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.”
According to the Financial Times, the companies will file a report by 12 January 2012 detailing how they intend to proceed.
The news follows reports that the US Justice Department felt it was unnecessary to proceed with a fast-track review of the case, after the withdrawal of the merger application made with the Federal Communications Commission by the operators. AT&T and T-Mobile had instead hoped to focus on gaining DoJ approval, as a tool to subsequently convince the FCC that a deal was in the public interest.
The Wall Street Journal said while T-Mobile has been focused on the steps necessary to preserve the AT&T deal, this has put it in contact with other operators, which could lead to a different alliance. A merger with Leap Wireless was suggested as one option, while Bloomberg said that satellite TV company Dish is also interested in a possible partnership.