(Update: Granted) AT&T, Deutsche Telekom File Motion With Court, Ask For More Time To “Evaluate Options”

Update: Judge Huvelle has granted the stay reports Harold Feld from Public Knowledge.

AT&T has just released the following statement with regards to its planned merger with T-Mobile:

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom advised Judge Huvelle this morning that they wish to stay any further Court proceedings until January 18, 2012, to allow the two companies time to evaluate all options. The U.S. Department of Justice joined in the filing.

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.

The Department of Justice joined in the filing so it appears that everyone is an agreement here — pending the Judge’s decision. Judge Huvelle is widely expected to grant the motion. It’s hard to say what “options” AT&T and T-Mobile are now considering at this point but we can’t imagine any future deal would look anything like the total buyout that was originally discussed.

A joint venture and heavy divestitures have both been rumored as possible “Plan B” options but it’s also possible AT&T could simply walk away from the leaving $3 billion in cash and another billion worth of spectrum to Deutsche Telekom.

BusinessWire, PhoneScoop

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  • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

    They had all the time they need already, it’s not gonna work.

    They just wanna drag this out and make T-mo lose more customer before they give up, bitches!

    • Anonymous

      Actually Ash they are deciding whether or not to rework an arrangement or call it off . That my friend is a good thing . Its a plan B or bust . Its nice for Dish to step up and announce a desire for a partnership . It should stop the silly comments about AT&T or death as the only options .

      • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

        I read here on T-mo news that ATT will get to roam on T-mo’s network but not the other way around…no?

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think it works that way Ash but could be wrong . I think I read that part of the break up fee is actually in TMO getting better roaming agreements .

        • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

          I hope so too.

        • Miro

          the agreement is if the deal fails, DT gets gets $3b in cash, $x billion in AWS spectrum from AT&T and a roaming agreement

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      This case was set for trial to take place quickly, at the request of AT&T.

      But AT&T’s strategy has backfired (AT&T withdrawing its FCC Application, but still wanting a Court ruling on that Application), the Court and DOJ said BS.

      Unless the DOJ and AT&T are close to hammering out a deal (I don’t see that, especially since MetroPCS said there’s no deal, and IMO any deal would have included MetroPCS as a settlement beneficiary), I expect AT&T to announce, via its court filing if it chooses to go that route, it is abandoning the deal.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve enjoyed your insight . Do you think it is really more likely that AT&T walks away and hands over the breakup fee and spectrum ? It seems if a deal could be worked to where they can buy TMO’s assets and keep them around as a “virtual network operator ” that might be more palatable to everyone counting regulators though they did diss the FCC . That way they wouldn’t have to pay the two billion . I read its actually two billion as opposed to four with the tax deductions .

        • Anonymous

          More likely that AT&T will find a way to wiggle out of paying anything. This would be a first step toward a time-eating delay as part of the wiggle.

  • Anonymous

    Scrambling LOL  I hope they say no cuz they are wasting tax payer dollars on this Fail deal.

    • BigMixxx

      yup!

  • Guest

    Methinks there merely trying to postpone the inevitable.

    Anyone know of anything conspicuous about that particular date? 

  • Anonymous

    What’s with the double-images on the RSS feed?

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Just discovered that this morning, I’m working on it!

  • http://twitter.com/bluechrism Chris Martin

    AT&T needed to do this before the Judge ruled on the DOJ’s ruling about if there is a case to answer (thursday).  This is probably the best way for AT&T to keep it alive for now, but seriously guys, give it up.

    • http://twitter.com/mlococo Michael Lococo

      From above…  “December 15 hearing date canceled.”

  • The Dude

    This is nothing but a face-saving measure. This dog is dead. :-D

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    The Judge signed the order, just now. Says:

    All pretrial and trial deadlines have been vacated.

    December 15 hearing date canceled.

    Status conference hearing on January 18, 2012, 2:00 pm EST “to address the course of any further proceedings in this action.”

    Significantly, the Judge also ordered:

    “Defendants shall file with the Court by 12 pm January 12, 2012, a status report describing 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 FCC, and

    Their anticipated plans and timetable for seeking any necessary approval from the FCC.”

    (My changes to emphasize aspects of the order).

    So calendar that date folks, January 12, 2012. That’s when AT&T and Deutsche Telekom will be forced to reveal their intentions.

  • Tbyrne

    Bye Bye AT&T! Hello Dish Network. Aaahhh. Huge sigh of relief. Randall blew it. Shareholders aren’t too happy right about now. Heh heh heh!

  • AfroLogic

    this is starting to get really annoying att. stop kicking the can down the road. 

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    By the way, in regards to figuring out who is doing what, the Judge’s Order that I set forth below was PREPARED BY COUNSEL in the case and deal.

    What this tells you is that behind the scenes the lawyers are talking, and the subject they are talking about is getting rid of this case.

    Again, I don’t think the parties are close to some kind of deal, so this Order (jointly written by DOJ  and AT&T counsel) tells me the attorneys are talking about AT&T’s terms of SURRENDER.

    Getting a trial date vacated (canceled) in federal court is really difficult to do, especially when a party (here AT&T) requested a quick trial date. So that AT&T agreed to request that the February trial date be canceled, that’s BIG.

    And I suspect that the DOJ insisted on the language in the order, where it said that by January 12 AT&T has to file papers with the court stating its intentions.

    Considering everything that has happened to date IMO on January 12 AT&T will announce it is abandoning any form of a deal with Deutsche Telekom.

    What I find most curious is that the DOJ would also require AT&T to reveal “Whether they (AT&T) intend to proceed with another transaction.”

    To me that indicates the DOJ does not want to see the AT&T TMOS acquisition resurface later on.

    MOST SIGNIFICANT: AT&T is NOT seeking FCC approval for the deal. And now AT&T does NOT have a trial date with which to obtain the necessary court approval of the deal.

    Bottom line, in case you can’t see the writing on the wall, the AT&T deal is DEAD, it is over, kaput, no more, up in smoke, up in flames, a goner, in the grave.

    All that’s left is the formalities.

    Sidenote: I believe that the DOJ and Judge are concerned about setting Deutsche Telekom free from the constraints of the acquisition Agreement, hence forcing AT&T to formally declare its intentions on January 12.

    • Guesty

      always enjoy reading your thought ItsMichaelNotMike :)

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Thanks for the compliment. So much nicer than the insults some people hurl in here.

  • BP

    Great move by AT&T.  Push the date back and let Dish Network speak for you to get approval from the public before the FCC and trial date.

    • Tbyrne

      Quit smoking that crap. I told you it’d cloud your judgment.

      • BP

        Not your mentally challenged remarks again. When Dish, AT&T and T-Mobile can make statements before Sprint, it is planned.

        • Tbyrne

          What’s Hesse got to do with this?

  • http://www.unscripted360.com Deacon

    Dish gets TMO .. ATT buys Dish .. end result is about the same just a different way to get there lol

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Nope, that will NEVER happen. Remember, this has to do with wireless competition, not necessarily the superficial form of the acquisition.

      The DOJ has told AT&T that it will NOT “green light” any form of deal where it takes out a major wireless competitor, whether indirectly or directly.

      Acquiring Dish would be an indirect move.

      Also see the “stipulation” (Judge’s Order) that requires by January 12 for AT&T to reveal any transaction it intends. A move on Dish, or anyone, so it can do this deal in a roundabout manner, that is not going to happen.

      And I can assure you, the court would not take kindly AT&T wasting its time with these el cheapo smoke and mirror parlor tricks.

      One might think “Hey, AT&T will simply abandon this deal and come back with another. And when the DOJ sues, we might get a better Judge, one pro-business.”

      That is not going to happen because there’s federal precedent to prevent that kind of game playing (what is sometimes called “judge shopping”). If it was that easy to get rid of a fed Judge who is not ruling your way, lawyers would be pulling all kinds of crap to get a Judge more favorable to their case.

      AT&T is stuck with this Judge. Sometimes justice actually means there was justice. :)

      • BigMixxx

        “He’s on Fire” — in my NBA Jam Voice.

      • http://www.joshrobertnay.com Respawn

        You’re the smartest person I see commenting on TMoNews by far. Maybe you should run for president :-P

        • ItsMichaelNotMike

          Thanks for the nice words.

  • Susieq

    I wonder who advised ATT to try to acquire T-Mo in the first place.  What were they thinking?  Will they now get a tongue-lashing?  What will happen to that Randall guy, etc.etc.  I mean, $3billion dollars that ATT wasted (going to DT) could have put a lot of Americans back to work or pull them out of the slump.  Yes I know, pocket change to ATT, but a lot of dough to all of us.

    On another note, and excuse me for not knowing too much about tech:  Since it’s $3billion and some spectrum/roaming, does that mean T-Mo subscriber can jump on “ATT’s lane” and use their network/frequency for talk/data.  Sorry I don’t know much in that area.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      After the deal is dead AT&T heads will roll, but not until after that. Regardless if anyone could see this coming and regardless of who rubber stamped the acquisition (the AT&T Board had to approve making the deal), this is a serious financial mistake.

      Like any deal or business decision that has gone south, postmortem everyone will play the blame game. No one at Deutsche Telekom is to blame since they simply tried to get an outrageous deal (the same as you selling your $10,000 car to someone who offered $39,000 for it. You would be a bonehead not to accept that deal).

      Obviously, some of AT&T’s lawyers will be blamed. AT&T will probably avoid paying the final law firm bill or get a discount. Some junior associates will be fired, and a few senior associates won’t make partner.

      At AT&T all heads are fair game. The Board will want blood simply because that’s the way the game is played. If Stephenson goes, he will get a $30 to $50 million severance package to leave without making noise.

  • Karen

    Dish would be far worse than AT&T. Their services drops off whenever it rains. Switched to fits and never had an issue.

    Though, if they have the court to get an iPhone, that would be awesome for David.

    Getting tired of toting around this rooted Ge running iOS . Thanks to mr p.

    See you soon hubby!

    • Karen

      Sorry about the typos on this pos g2.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWWIKW6MNPUHOC4OVSHWUDWAHM Fabio

      Pretty sure T-Mobile will run the show and not Dish. Dish is new to the wireless industry and will have to let T-Mobile take full operations or at least most of the operations. And sorry I think AT&T would be worse, our rate plans would sky rocket if AT&T was to actually complete the deal!

      • Guestme

        I concur.  T-Mobile with anybody is better than with ATT.

        But Dish service TV does sucks.  When it’s cloudy, rainy, windy, etc., receptions sucks really bad.  I h8te satellite TV.  That’s why I dropped them long ago and went Comcast, even though they suck too, but better than Dish.

    • Getmore

      I love my DISH service!  Sure it may go out for a few minutes during a bad storm but it comes right back. When I had cable and it went out it stayed out for much longer times.  GO DISH!

  • Silk7412

    I was playful when i filed this at the FCC

    Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye,My oh  ATT is going away,Plenty of sunshine coming my way,Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye.
    Dishnetwork on my cell phone,,it’s the truth,it’s actual,everything’s satisfactual!Zippity doo dah,zippity aye,zippity doo dah,zippity ayeoh what a felling,Thank you DOJ,
    This is how i feel if dishnetwork buys Tmobile

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Well as far as scoops, TMoNews had the Order posted about the same time as “Harold” from Public Knowledge was tweeting. Besides, TMoNews has the wording of the Order rather than simply saying it was signed. So take that Google spiders and web crawlers.

    Moreover, January 12 is a more significant date, that is, rather than Harold’s January 18. This is because on January 12 AT&T must file papers (meaning it will be made public) stating its intentions, as I set forth earlier. And its statements are made under penalty of perjury, so what AT&T says on January 12, that’s news.

    I can access AT&T’s documents at 11:00 am PST on January 12, so TMoNews can get the scoop, AGAIN.

    Note: I will check with the court occasionally to see if AT&T files the papers early. The court order says BY January 12 AT&T must file the papers. Sometimes lawyers file pleadings a few days early.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWWIKW6MNPUHOC4OVSHWUDWAHM Fabio

    Evaluate options? More like negotiate the breakup fee… Ah this is such fantastic news, what a relief! Consumers still have a choice, they can still choose T-Mobile USA as their carrier. Thank you DOJ and FCC for preventing AT&T from taking this choice away from us!

  • Anonymous

    Congradulations to all the T-Mobile employees your nightmare is almost over !

    • Frank Jacobs

      We’re not feeling any more secure.

    • Tbyrne

      And Customers!

  • Anonymous

    I feel like ATT is taking this time to beg DT to let it keep the breakup fee or atleast the spectrum part.  and DT is probably like screw you. I still have a feeling DT never wanted to leave the market, but needed the money and spectrum bad. I know they said they would not invest in Tmobile, but that could have been ATT talking, especially since ATT basically had DT acting like a lapdog. 

    If they partner with Dish, I would not be surprised to see Tmobile copy Sprint’s Network Vision plan to improve their network efficiency.

  • BigMixxx

    It’s Breakup fee and stipulation negotiation time…

    This is what they are going through right now.  3 billion is a lot of money.  Least we forget that 8% stake in AT&T.  That’s more valuable than the 39 billion.  and can we find out where the other 28 billion is coming from?

    Next steps (I believe) include:
    1) negotiate that break up fee. Get it down to plain roaming agreements. 

    2) DT really has AT&T by the gonads because that can claim
    ‘loss of value in the assets they hold’  whatever the lawterm is <– I
    made that up, but that's what I would sue for.  This puts AT&T in a bad position…really bad.. This could be in the billion dollar range. Not to mention potential loss because of defection (if you can prove it). 
    3) Roaming agreements (such a broad term) specifics, specifics, specifics. 

  • Guestme

    Who was the idi0t….uh, I mean the one on ATT’s legal team to suggest that ATT focus on winning clearance from the Justice Department first and to pull out their FCC application???

    Obviously, that was a BIG mistake and the DOJ took advantage of it and went in for the kill by pulling out their lawsuit case as well.

    I assume that ATT lawyer/associate will not be getting a Christmas bonus this year.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Although the lawyers always get blamed when things go bad or a case is lost, AT&T had the best lawyers in the Nation representing its interests. I have a list of all counsel somewhere, all of em from white shoe law firms.

      Rest assured those lawyers were tops in their game, wise enough to properly advise AT&T and let AT&T make all the decisions.

      Of course, as I said before, some lawyers will have to fall on the sword because with hindsight it is easy to find fault all the way around. And as as we all know, some heads roll, the survivors move on.

      I pity the newly hired associates,

  • Silk7412

    Randall Stephenson ” we can still win this thing- who need the FCC – they can’t stop us- we can sue god and anyone who gets in my way”

    shareholder walking out of the meeting

    Randall Stephenson ” where are you guys going ?- get back in here!”

    The door closes and he is all alone in the boardroom.

    Randall Stephenson ‘ i don’t need any of you- i can buy tmobile all by myself”

    Randall Stephenson  looks into the mirror and see’s his face looks like SCARFACE!

    The world is not your!!!

  • 99%

    Thank you DOJ and FCC for preventing AT&T from taking this company and choice away from us! Thank you also for living up to the law on antitrust and keeping competition alive for us consumers. We are the 99%. 

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Yes, people need to be thanking the Obama administration for this.

      I remember when the DOJ filed suit a lot of people commented around the Net and in here that the DOJ was going to cave or they were paid off to not do anything in this case. (Remember when the DOJ had to issue a public statement that it was serious about the case, this because so many people were saying the DOJ were a bunch of pantywaists.)

      But the fact is AT&T’s ass was grass and the DOJ was the lawnmower.

      And a tip o’ the hat to the FCC for kicking but too. Turns out the only friends AT&T has in Washington are the ones who don’t matter, because it is the FCC and DOJ who had to give the green light to the deal.

  • Bradgaboury

    I don’t get it, you can’t MAKE a company stay in business. Obviously DT wants out of USA.

    • jon

      You must sit on the board at DT huh? No? I didn’t think so… Noone, including you, have the slightest clue what DT wants to do..especially with a breakup fee in hand. I really wish people who think they “know” what DT wants would be quiet until DT has its breakup fee and isn’t muzzled by at&t. The only thing you know is what at&t has made DT say…which means absolutely nothing since 99.9% of what at&t spews is bullsh…

      • Tbyrne

        Agreed!

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        You are correct Jon, unless one is at the very, very top of Deutsche Telekom, few can say to a certainty what DT wants or intends. (Witness how few people predicted or knew about the AT&T’s acquisition.)

        However, the OP is correct. In the U.S. the DOJ, FCC nor any private party can MAKE (his word) someone stay in business. In fact, there’s few situations where a court will force someone to even specifically perform (such as going through with a sale and transferring a rare car, or forcing a house sale where the seller changed his mind. But even those situations are rare). Sidenote: Can you imagine the mess if govt. could force private business to continue to operate.

        And the second part of his statement is accurate too. Many business sites have looked at DT’s actions, talked to insiders, and investigated matters, and reached the conclusion that Deutsche Telekom wants to get out of the U.S. wireless business.

        Of course any of this is subject to change. AT&T’s offer was akin to DT winning the lottery. Now it has to reevaluate its situation, depending on what other suitors might offer, what kind of partnerships are out there, and go to a Plan B as some like to say.

        To be sure, because of draconian contract requirements, DT has had to remain tight-lipped about everything, lest AT&T find what it is looking for, DT violating the Purchase/Sale Agreement so that AT&T can its money (the breakup fee).

        I suspect after January 12, once AT&T has to reveal its intentions, in a sworn filing to the Court, that soon thereafter people will know what DT decision makers have been discussing and reveal its “Plan B.”

        I think DT wants out of the US, or to treat TMOUS as an investment rather than a business. DT may stick around as a partner with a U.S. investor who wants to get into wireless (what a tough business to get into). If Deutsche Telekom goes that route than most likely T-Mobile US will remain in one form or another, and DT will seamlessly hand over the operational reigns to its new buddy.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    I will repeat my bet, I say AT&T simply surrenders. It is so fed up with this deal, and most of govt. and people being against it, that it will say “f cuk this sheet and the horses you all rode in on,” pay the breakup fee (assuming AT&T can’t find some theory to avoid paying it, I suspect the Germans have been model partners to make sure it gets that money), and move on to getting its money back by screwing over its customers with fraudulent schemes and overcharges.

    • Silk7412

      you might be on to something the CEO Said Higher Prices For All If T-Mobile Deal Blocked and the way things are looking att will make there customers suffer.

  • Shannenerika16

    I cant wait till T-mobile sells iPhones. I want one so bad!!!

    • Silk7412

      Ok -lets all make the scooby doo sound ‘ raaahhh oooohhh!!!

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    As you know, I have opined that AT&T will get back from its customers the money it spent on the TMOUS acquisition debacle. A suitable metaphoric scene that best illustrates what’s going to happen to AT&T subscribers: the beginning of  the 2009 animated feature “A Christmas Carol,” starring Jim Carrey.

    A RANDALL STEPHENSON CHRISTMAS

    A casket is shown with a head shot of a man laying inside it.

    The deceased is curmudgeon Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s business partner. One can see a coin over each of Marley’s eyelids, money he needs for his journey in the hereafter.

    After Scrooge officially confirms it is Marley in the casket, he signs the death certificate.

    Scrooge turns to make his exit on to the street. But he is surprised by the the mortician who has extended an open hand, signifying he is expecting payment for services rendered.

    Scrooge opens his coin purse and struggles to put a single coin in the mortician’s hand. With the mortician’s hand still extended, it takes all his strength for Scrooge to place a second coin in the open palm.

    Just as the mortician’s assistant is about to close the casket Scrooge screams at the boy to STOP! Scrooge then plucks the first coin off Jacob Marley’s eyelid, then the second. He admiringly rubs the coins together, tosses them into his coin satchel and hobbles on to the street.

    The End

    Cast of Characters

    Scrooge – AT&T/Stephenson

    “Jacob Marley is dead” scene – The AT&T/Deutsche Telekom Deal

    Jacob Marley eyelid money scene – AT&T subscribers

    Mortician – Department of Justice

    Mortician Assistant  (attempting to close coffin) – Michael Mortimer

    Obituary Reporter – TMoNews

    Casket – FCC Quality Coffins

    Death Certificate – Courtesy of Judge Ellen Huvelle
    ____________________

    Copyright © 1996-2012 Michael Mortimer, Second Chair Publications. All rights reserved.

  • Silk7412

    I just posted this at the FCC. Enjoy
    Well well wellATT is in the giving spirit already this year. And you ask what is ATT giving out? PINK SLIPS!!!!
    AT&T is laying off 100 workers in Connecticut.
    The union representing the 100 Customer Information Specialists was notified of the layoffs Wednesday, according to Local 1298 President Bill Henderson.
    “This is a despicable act, made even worse by the company’s miserable timing,” Henderson said about the notices coming just before the holidays.
    The move eliminates one-third of AT&T’s Connecticut operators, and will close facilities in Old Saybrook and Waterbury, according to Henderson. He said the job cuts will lead to a further decline in AT&T’s customer service.
    “I just testified to a state legislative committee about AT&T’s poor response to the recent storms. It all comes down to staffing,” Henderson said.
    AT&T was not immediately available for comment on the layoffs.
    This must be one of there job creation plans they were talking about!!Just wait and see what Tmobile would be getting!!!