by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 3:50 PM MST
The Federal Communication Commission announced today that they will allow AT&T to withdraw it’s merger application. There were some rumblings coming out the past 24 hours saying that the FCC may prohibit AT&T from withdrawing because they may want to go on record actually denying the merger. AT&T threatened to sue the FCC if it was not allowed to withdraw.
In the grand scheme of things, today’s announcement from the FCC that AT&T can withdraw their application is good news for them. AT&T now is in a Hail Mary type of scenario to still get the merger with T-Mobile approved. They know that the FCC is not the best avenue to fight this out right now. Not to mention the cost and resources of fighting two different agencies. AT&T is still planning to proceed with the Dept. of Justice trial in February. The DOJ is using AT&T on anti-trust grounds.
Though it may be a long shot, it’s believed if AT&T can be successful in the DOJ trial, then it may re-apply with the FCC to merge. And it will have a powerful ruling backing it up. But everyone admits it’s an uphill battle. Even AT&T. As AT&T has now set aside the funds in 1Q-2012 to pay T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom should the deal fail. Likely not something they would do now if they were optimistic.