Justice Department Asks Judge To Delay AT&T, T-Mobile Trial

The Justice Department, appearing before Judge Huvelle along with AT&T this morning argued that since AT&T has pulled its merger application from the FCC, the issue is no longer pressing and there is no need to rush to trial. The Justice Department asked the judge to delay the trial to an unspecified date in the future.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, Judge Huvelle admonished AT&T for pulling its application from the FCC by stating, “You could change the deal in a month and everybody’s time will be wasted.” Furthermore, the Judge noted that since the application has been pulled, the urgency of the case is no longer an issue.

The Department of Justice is preparing to ask for a stay in the case, or even withdraw its case until AT&T re-submits its application to the Federal Communication Commissions. The Judge gave the Justice Department until Tuesday to file any motion and will decide on the motion on December 15th. Joseph Wayland of the Department of Justice has said that if the postponement request is not granted, the Justice Department will simply withdraw its case until AT&T once again files with the FCC.

AT&T asked the court to stick with the current February 13th trial date and argued that delaying the acquisition any more than it already has could lead to the deal’s complete collapse. AT&T had initially expected to close the deal by March of 2012 only to recently push that date back to June 2012. Now, even June of 2012 may be too early in the year.

Looks like AT&T’s grand plan to fight this in court may have backfired. If AT&T were to resubmit an application to the FCC, we could be looking a very different deal than what was originally considered.

Wall Street Journal

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  • Anonymous

    Some serious hardball being played here the DOJ

  • tman10449

    This is getting funnier by the moment lol    Also, David must be a Photoshop wiz to put those pics together so fast that relate to articles lol

  • CanyonMan67

    They Hear the Lady Singing!

  • Nelson

    ahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahahaha

  • http://twitter.com/timmyjoe42 Timothy J. Bennett

    I don’t even understand what the hearing is about if since the application to move forward with the acquisition was withdrawn.

    • batman

      The FCC petitioned for the hearing. ATT has not completely withdrawn their application with the FCC, just took it back so they can revise it. This is the FCC lighting a fire under the ATT’s ass, so they hurry up and refile the application – attempting to put ATT at a disadvantage.

  • BigMixxx

    Well..

    I think it’s over.  that Drug money AT&T has won’t work here. 

    and AT&T stock is rising.

  • Attfan

    get this deal done and let us become at&t…without at&t or DT backing T-Mobile it will be a dwindling company that will run out of money and customers.

    not getting this deal done is worse…you humanoids are putting your feelings towards at&t infront of you without looking at the bigger picture.

    DT wants nothing to do with T-Mobile USA…and if this deal doesnt goes through we will get bought by 2 bit wireless company that cant close an umbrella!! 

    • Tbyrne

      But why do you care? You’re Attfan.

      • Attfan

        i care because i work for t-mobile…love my job..but it will be in shambles if no deal goes through

        • Anonymous

          Why don’t you go work for AT&T? People like you have no place in T-Mobile…

      • tman10449

        i think hes confused since he says “we will get bought”, he must be a tmobile customer but an att fan?  Hmm sounds like another att propoganda plant lol

    • The Dude

      I’d rather be dead than re…. er… blue !!!

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

    Interesting AT&T want to get the trial heard first and re-sumbint based on the outcome of the trial.  FCC/Justice department say with no sumbission, no point in having a trial.  Puts all this in a tight spot.  It’s gamesmanship from both sides, but ultimately, i think the trial should have been heard and with the existing submission.  I’d like the trial to still be heard, but there does need to be a legal document stating AT&T’s plans for the DOJ to have a complaint to argue against. 

    I think the justice department should insist that there be a new filling from AT&T by Jan 1, and by Feb1 the DOJ confirm to the court that they still intend to fight the new filings in court. If so, the date stays as planned at Feb 13.  If not, the DOJ can argue in court against any further filings by AT&T with the FCC and new dates will need to be drawn up for that once the filing and legal submissions are in place.

    Otherwise, AT&T could change their plans daily during the trial and argue against each accusation by the DOJ by saying, “actually, we don’t plan to do X/Y/Z”.

    • Anonymous

      Harold Feld called it last month: http://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/can-att-really-walk-away-fcc-while-keeping-t-

      It’s a catch-22:* DOJ is suing against acquisition
      * ATT drops FCC acquisition petition to focus on a DOJ case win as material for later FCC repetition
      * DOJ can drop case because there’s NO LIVE acquisition happening
      * ATT must refile at FCC first, again
      * FCC/DOJ going to look at them any friendlier for gaming the system like this?

      If AT&T wanted to delay the whole thing to get out of paying DT, this is genius.

  • The Dude

    The fat lady is singing…

  • AfroLogic

    the doj d*ck slapped att, and all that b*tch can do is take it. 

  • Dan25

    I honestly dont care wat happens i had t-mobile i had no service on my galaxy s2 as my wife did on her g2x in our apartment in sanata monica california. Switched to at&t couldnt be happier now i have full bars in my apartment on my at&t LG nitro. I know some people will deffinetly argue with me i dont care .. so byytch all u want because i now have reception on at&t. . I admit i was scared switching to at&t because i heard soo many horror stories about them.. i honestly had NO problems with there service and i been all over LA to long beach, west hollywood, san fernando and san gabriel valley, glendale, ghetto east LA, Downtown LA, montebello , pico rivera i even been al the way to temecula and riverside and i never dropped 1 call. I sometimes asked myself why the hell are all my calls not dropping??? Calls always connect instantly etc.. i left t-mobile for good and never looked back and couldnt be happier..

    • Tmobile Fan _77

      Simply said, Goodbye!

    • Guesty

      good bye dan hope u like them .i dont know know why u still hangout on  tmonews though(perhaps missing us ;) )

    • Anonymous

      Your personal experience in this case has no basis nor standing for/against AT&T, or T-Mobile.

      If T-Mobile CS was bad, or you’ve been on T-Mobile for awhile and couldn’t get any signal ever, then you might otherwise have cause and case.
      Then again, you got the beta GS2: it still doesn’t have WiFi calling support yet. Since the G2x did have signal, it was a GS2 issue, not T-Mobile.

    • Anonymous

      These AT&T trolls are too much. You don’t have any service problems in West Hollywood? Stop lying!

      • Joseakajrod

        I am not an at&t troll and btw i have t-mobile which i love and i live in weho and t-mobile service is ok not perfect not bad in weho ,same thing with at&t my boyfriend has at&t then again he doesnt have an iphone he has a samsung infuse. Because from what i heard only people with iphones have problems . Honestly i nvr really seen a difference between at&t and t-mobile service and since im a cellphone geek im always comparing my t-mobile galaxy s2 with his at&t samsung infuse and at&t service is not that bad as everyone makes it out to be. He never really complains about dropped calls or anything like that he only complains about how much he pays a month he pays twice as much on at&t. We switched phones plenty of times and at&t service is not bad at all in weho i got service in all the clubs i went to then again so does t- mobile in all those times we switchd phones i never dropped any calls in weho on at&t. So yea but still i prefer t-mobile cuz i pay less than him. I bet that all those people that talk bad about at&t dont even have them or ever had them in the first place. They just beleive everything they read online without actually having them ..

        • Anonymous

          AT&T has had long standing huge deadzones (and overloaded cell towers) in West Hollywood. To say that their service is perfect and T-Mobile’s isn’t is a flat out lie. AT&T has publicly acknowledged the service problems in Los Angeles. Then they go on to say they have *no* dropped calls ANYWHERE in Los Angeles? ALL LIES! There is someone in Los Angeles switching to AT&T every other day with the same BS being posted. 

        • Ghettogurl

          Hey puta i never dropped a call in LA On at&t . Nd hun i also live in da hood in compton which i doubt it ull last 1 hour and at&t is good in compton nd south central Idk were da fck u live but in LA at&t is good much better than sprint i had sprint and they fcknn sukd soo much it wasnt funny. Idk bout t-mobile cuz i nvr had them so i aint even gonna say anythinqq bout t- mobile so stfu cuz i bet u dnt even have at&t.

        • likeag6

          Why do u haTE LA so much? And west hollywood? Do u even live here? i dont know what LA did to u but i know for a fact at&t is not that good in LA same with t-mobile. Over here in LA verizon is the only way to go for PERFECT reception all over LA and west hollywood. I agree with u on at&t has spotty coverage in weho and LA yes thats true at&t is indeed crap in those places but t-mobile isnt behind .. i know many people on t-mobile that hate there service in those places most of them already left to verizon. I have boost mobile only reason i havent switched to verizon is because im broke right now im not gonna deny it im broke there i said it .. anyways .. while at&t sucks t-mobile does too i had at&t a while back when i still had my good job before i got fired i had a samsung infuse… what a horrible company at&t is im deff not going back to them ever again..! Reception is crap, internet is slow even with a 3G signal, txt messagin is all effed up. I know for a fact the people on here saying at&t is good in LA are lying!!! I agree with u on that too most people on here are lying! I bet they dont even live in LA. Well i do and at&t is horrible over here calls dont come in half of the time even tho the phone show full reception, call failed with full reception , half of the texts messages dont come in, then theres the typical “message cannot be sent” wit full reception. It was seriously frustating. And no it wasnt my phone because i was on my 3rd infuse and everytime i complaint at the at&t store they always gave me a new phone and new sim card. It wasnt the phones obviously it was at&ts effed up overloaded network. O also did i mentioned crappy call quality?? Most of my calls had a lot of static in them and the person i was talking too sounded like they was underwater . Till i gave up on them cancelled and left to boost i admit i have a much crappier phone on boost a samsung transform ultra but i get MUCH better call quality and LESS dropped calls ..

    • 21stNow

      Your “happy” post should not have words that evaded the word filter but, whatever.  It’s great that you have good reception on AT&T.  My whole opposition to the buyout is that people need choices, such as what you had.  If AT&T offers better prices or coverage, let a customer choose AT&T.  If T-Mobile offers better prices or coverage, let a customer choose T-Mobile.  I’m a happy customer of both and prefer to see choice in the marketplace, rather than this extreme contraction that we have witnessed in the wireless industry over the last 15 years.

  • John

    If AT&T’s goal has been to neuter TMOUS and make it less competitive for as long as possible, they are doing a bang-up job. If they can drag it out another 12 months, they may not need to acquire TMO.

    • Frigadroid

      YUUUP! Wasn’t it mentioned before that the break up fee could be less if Tmobile didn’t meet certain criteria? AT&T has a legal staff that has to go to work everyday regardless of delays. Just because they say they don’t want any delay why should we believe anything they say?

  • Anonymous

    Your exact words: “delaying the acquisition”.  This is not a merger.

  • Anonymous

    sadly i don’t think this helps T-mobile USA. 

    Now AT&T and T-mobile will have to work that much harder just to get an answer in a court of law.  It’s not like AT&T is just going to magically pull out of the deal because the DOJ is playing games.

    Dear DOJ…. grow some balls and just present your case so that us customers of T-mobile USA can finally get some clarity on what’s going to happen.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I don’t agree with your sentiment. It puts AT&T in a serious bind. Now they are forced to deal with a delayed trial, revamp the deal and submit it to an upset FCC or pull out altogether.

      • Anonymous

        i see your point, but i think it can reasonably be interpreted both ways.

        As a T-mobile customer, i was glad to see a trial date in February to finally get a “yes or no” answer rather  have than this drag out through most of 2012.

        I can’t be the only customer who just wants this nonsense over with as soon as possible.

        • The Big Daddy Bear

          The concern here is not how immediate an answer is, but what that answer ultimately will be. After all, you don’t want to rush to get confirmation that the deal goes through and you are now paying 50% higher costs on your cell phone bill, would you?

        • Dpro

          Ya but the deal is pretty much dead in the water. It would be nice to get a finalized decision and statement on it sooner than later.  Like David said this puts AT&T cough cough err SBC in a serious bind.

          They now have to face a possibly dragged out deal that will cost them extra cash in court fees among other things.

          The DOJ is now effectively saying no case without a FCC application, which pretty much kills it.

          The FCC is saying try applying for another application we will probably reject it. Unless of course AT&T was to rework it. Thing is it really can’t be reworked in a way that would make it really viable for AT&T. To much divestiture would have to happen.

          The deal will not go through, as it stands. AT&T could do itself a big favor by just throwing in the towel and going to a plan B  shared tower agreement which they have had with T Mobile in the past.
          That would probably fly with the FCC and the DOJ. Or perhaps DT could seek out another purchaser like Dish.

          At this point its in AT&T’s best interest to swallow take the loss and give up on the idea and move on.
          Its also favorable for T Mobile customers because it then gives DT a chance to figure out what next. Thus give clarity to the future of T Mobile which right now is rather opaque.

        • Ohcomeonnow

          And I’m glad to see NO TRIAL because it will WASTE our taxes paying any more Federal legal fees to pursue.

          It’s DONE… the opinon of TWO Gov bodies representing the interests of the country have spoken. WHY does it have to be hashed out in the courts now?

  • http://www.joshrobertnay.com Respawn

    Maybe the DOJ thinks AT&T’s collective head might sprout a brain and back out of this calamity. Anyone who sees the AT&T/T-Mobile deal as a good thing clearly has no inner-working knowledge of the cell-phone industry. It’s like what would happen if Wal-Mart were allowed to buy Target and Kroger.

  • MIKEEEEE

    i love it.

    lawyers helping out other lawyers.

    the att legal teams will bill a gazillion more hours and live happily ever after and bottom line, the deal is DOA.

    downside is t-mo is being held hostage.

  • G2XUser

    stuff like this makes me wanna just leave t-mobile. i grew up with them since voicestream… but it’s looking like t-mobile can’t think for their own and our fate is in the hands of whoever wants to buy us.cuz clearly DT doesn’t have faith in T-mobile USA. and i don’t wanna be left behind with outdated service and really little to none good phones to upgrade to for another 2 years. i’m feeling like i just want to get an iphone with at&t and call it a day. and make t-mobile a memory =/

    • Anonymous

      Whatever you are talking makes absolutely zero sense. Are you ok??
      Paid trolls like you are what we dont need on this site.

      • G2XUser

        lol, i’m not a troll! that’s just how i feel… i have a g2x now, had a motorola cliq before this, and before that a sidekick lx <3 i miss my sidekick. but o well. my point is….t-mobile doesn't look like it wants to stay alive as a strong competitor in the future. it's like they are tossing in the towel, and that makes me angry at DT

    • Youremail

      ^ Yep, another paid troll from ATT to log onto this site and other various tech blogs to give BS reasons why this is bad for TMo, etc etc and why this merger needs to be done.  The writing and choice of words usually gives them away.  G2XUser obviously a paid troll from ATT or CWA.

    • Jeffreygreen1315

      BYE, SEE YOU …..DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN A$$$$$…

  • Dave Macias

    well don’t you love when things backfire???  AT&T from the  begining started to act like jesus christ walking on water blatantly yelling to 4 winds how much awesome they are because their deal “can pass” without any problems(if i recall they said they were very confident).
    Well fast forward some months and their dream is falling apart, i for one welcome this news , i don’t care how much people complaint and are like “just pass the deal already” or “tmo usa is death” , i still think the better solution is handing the company to another foregin carrier for investment.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      I would not call AT&T’s acquisition a “dream.”

      It was a scheme comprised of numerous machinations.

      And considering how everything went down I have no problem labeling AT&T’s actions a conspiracy.

      • Dave Macias

        yes , you are right let’s call it a conspiracy it sounds much better than dream.

  • jon

    I love the DOJ’s tactic here. They know they have victory at hand. To use football as an analogy; now they are essentially running out the clock. This will force at&t to see defeat much sooner. At&t will come to the conclusion they can’t restructure the deal, submit it and get it passed by the FCC and then once again fight the DOJ…all by a September drop dead deadline. The DOJ played this perfect. At&t will now look at the clock and realize they don’t have enough time for a comeback.

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

    This deal is dead, AT&T needs to retreat and walk away. Hopefully soon we will receive the news that AT&T is backing out of the deal.

  • Anonymous

    Let us just hope the we run out the clock before the timer of the breakup fee goes out. If I remember correctly, if the deal is not done by sept 2012, then att does not have to pay the breakup fee.  I hope the DOJ withdraws its lawsuit, which would kill the deal instantly.

    • jon

      That is not correct. September is when T-Mobile can exercise its right to walk from the deal and collect the breakup fee. Until then, T-Mobile must follow at&ts lead.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the clarifications.  Do you remember when the Deal deadline before att does not have to pay the breakup fee?

        • jon

          There was speculation that such date existed, but noone knows for sure. I think if such a date existed, that date is history. At&t is taking a 4 billion dollar charge-back this year…I think that says all you need to know..

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    You all have to look at this from a pure legal sense. There is no matter in controversy to be litigated.

    The court deals with genuine controversies, and usually not with fictions. Since the FCC Application was withdrawn, the court case is now moot and proceeding forward would result in the court ruling on speculation.

    AT&T would love to get a verdict that does not have legal effect, where AT&T is not bound by anything the Judge rules.

    AT&T’s lawyers and the client know full well all of the above. With wanting to waste everyone’s time by AT&T obtaining an ineffectual verdict, it appears AT&T’s ulterior motive has bubbled to the surface. What AT&T wants to do is delay Deutsche Telekom from competing in the U.S. wireless market for as long as possible and to prevent DT from looking for another buyer.

    By keeping the DOJ case pending for the next year (with trial and a long appeals process) AT&T could keep DT “off the market” and quash competition for all of 2012 and most likely beyond.

    AT&T knows that if the civil case is dismissed, the gig is up, it will have to pay the breakup fee and DT can get back to the business of running TMOUS and/or finding another suitor.

    (IMO AT&T intends to throw in the towel quite soon, especially knowing the court and DOJ was going to call them out today.)

  • Silk7412

    I just seen this and had to post it

    AT&T attorney Mark Hansen responded that the Dallas-based company did not start the court battle. The Justice Department did when it sued on Aug. 31, saying the combination of the No. 2 and No. 4 cellphone companies in the country would reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.
    Hansen said it didn’t make sense to have both the FCC and the court trying to rule on the merger at the same time, so the companies decided to proceed first with the trial that’s already been scheduled.
    “If we can’t convince the court of this, we won’t win,” Hansen said. “We understand that.”
    George Cary, an attorney for T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG, told the judge the deal is over if the trial doesn’t proceed expeditiously”

    WOW !!!!

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      As I said when the DOJ filed suit, AT&T could not have got a worse Judge on the case, she being a Clinton appointee, her previous rulings on cases indicating she is pro-consumer, not pro big business, and worst of all, the Judge’s ruling on the Sprint and C Spire cases (specifically, the Judge not dismissing those cases, and allowing Plaintiffs to proceed on damages — the underlying implication that the Judge was going to find AT&T’s deal violated the Clayton Act.

      It is clear that the Judge wants these cases off its docket before the New Year holiday. (The court can get rid of a lot of litigation if it grants the DOJ’s motion, because Sprint, C Spire, and other cases vanish too.)

      From the Judge’s words and actions today it is quite clear she has GRANTED the motion she “suggested” the DOJ file by December 13, and in which she will hear argument on December 15.

      And given the Judge’s statements in court today, IMO the Judge is going to dismiss the case, not stay it (meaning to put it on hold).

      Bottom line: Next week the Judge is granting the DOJ’s motion to dismiss. HA HA HA HA HA

      Sidenote: Although Deutsche Telekom cannot even hint that it really, really, really wants the Judge to grant the DOJ’s motion and dismiss the case, this so DT can get paid, and more importantly, so it can look for other suitors. (And that’s exactly what DT will do since Verizon bought the spectrum that TMOUS desperately needed. Now there’s even more reason for Deutsche Telekom to dump TMOUS.) Fact is Verizon doing that proved to the Judge that

  • macman37

    Looks like the devil {AT&T} has lost it’s trident in this battle.

  • Anonymous

    AT&T will still get what they want, i say this all the time on here.  AT&T will get the spectrum or access to it somehow.  Just wait and see.

    • Njcingular

      Are you willing to put money on it? This acquisition is over. Very clear changes have taken place in the past few weeks within T-mobile.

      • Anonymous

        AT&T doesn’t have to acquire the necessarily to gain access to what they want. They can form a partnership that ultimately lets them have what they want.

      • Anonymous

        Furthermore I’d put money down indeed. AT&T will get access to what they truly want.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      LOL… please identify “the spectrum” you are referring to.

      And just how long do you propose people should “wait and see” about the accuracy of your prediction, 20 years from now? ;)

      • Anonymous

        “spectrum” as in all the available and operating wireless frequencies t-mobile uses. They may not merge, but I bet they will partner up.