Last Wednesday, AT&T withdrew from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its application to merge with T-Mobile. The move signals AT&T's shift to focus on the lawsuit which the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed in August, aiming to block the merger. The decision to withdraw the application came after a decision by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to designate the deal for an administrative hearing, which could be lengthy and costly. Such a process would come after what could also be a long and expensive process with the DOJ lawsuit.
In a statement, AT&T mentioned that they "are continuing to pursue the sale of Deutsche Telekom's U.S. wireless assets to AT&T and are taking this step to facilitate the consideration of all options at the FCC and to focus their continuing efforts on obtaining antitrust clearance for the transaction from the Department of Justice either through the litigation...or alternate means. As soon as practical, AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG intend to seek the necessary FCC approval." (Contact: Brad McKinney)