Thursday, November 24, 2011

AT&T Giving Up on T-Mobile USA Bid?

On November 23, 2011, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew their applications to combine spectrum owned by both companies, something that would be required if AT&T were to succeed in acquiring T-Mobile USA.

AT&T also says it will take a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion ($3 billion cash and $1 billion book value of spectrum) in the 4th quarter of 2011 to reflect the potential break up fees due Deutsche Telekom in the event the transaction does not receive regulatory approval.

AT&T says it still is pursuing the deal, but the taking of the charge and withdrawal of applications indicate, at the very least, that AT&T thinks prospects are dimming, if not a definitive recognition that the bid will fail.  AT&T Throwing in Towel on T-Mobile USA?

Given the fact that the accounting charge will be taken in advance of the time the Department of Justice antitrust hearing would occur, some will speculate that AT&T plans to withdraw its bid to buy T-Mobile USA before the hearing. 

It is starting to look as though AT&T is preparing to abandon its acquisition attempt. 

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