AT&T Extends Timeframe To Close T-Mobile Deal Till Middle Of 2012

AT&T has decided the timeframe to close the T-Mobile deal will take a bit longer to close than originally expected as it continues an antitrust fight. AT&T announced the deal back on March 20th of this year and hoped to complete the deal in 12 months time.

Given that the deal is still under review by the FCC and with a trial date set for February 13th in the Department of Justice lawsuit, AT&T has stated that they expect the deal to close sometime during the middle of 2012, three months after their original timetable.


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  • ATThater

    Nooo F ATT don’t buy out Tmo

  • Anonymous

    This is ruining T-Mobile business by extending this crap! Leave T-Mobile alone.

    • Anonymous

      Right.  Its like T-Mobile is “Going out of Business” for over a year.  

      I think its a win win for AT&T either way at this rate.

    • TMO’s hardware upgrade pricing is driving customers away.  $250 for a phone that at&t sells for $50 is the reason why.

      • Anonymous

        And pay more for the plan then the phone on AT&T. Tmobile gives you a higher priced device but in the long run you save more

      • Anonymous

        Do you really expect the blackberry to sell at $50 on contract at launch just because at&t discounted it after so many months of having it? I mean come on get real.

  • Just keep pushing back but after Feb I think we’ll know that this deal isn’t going to happen anyway, btw David I like how AT&T has yet to answer your question on Twitter.

  • BP

    I can’t take anymore bad news.  I’m going to let my T-Mobile contract sleep over Dr. Conrad Murray’s house and hope for the best.

  • Anonymous

    AT&T looks like Skynet in that picture.

  • ATT is bad news. Always has been, always will be. Worst customer service, hideous charges. Have you ever heard of “delayed billing” where your prior month’s minute usage is lumped together onto the current month’s bill — just because the towers were “delayed” in reporting the usage.. yes, ATT slapped “delayed billing” on me.. jumped ship and never returned to ATT again.. looks like I need to jump ship again.

  • Wired_flesh

    att building and megatron look very evilly alike….coicidence?

  • Anonymous

    As long as it happens before the iPhone 5 I’ll be happy.

    • JustSaying

      huh? you wan’t this to happen?

      • Anonymous

        Well chances are it probably will, so why not make the best of it?

        • Cityofnewyork3000

          I guess you don’t see the writing on the wall yet, this is as good as dead. They  just have to make themselves look good. They cannot just walk away and look weak. This is flat out anti-competitive to say the least. Finally someone is standing up for the little guy. It never ceases to amaze me how people think that it’s good to have less options, like that is supposed to be good. 

  • TMoFan

    Another fact that gets overlooked, and I’m glad David mentioned it here, is that the FCC still has to sign off on this and for them to do that it must be “in the public’s interest”. This is a much broader view than what the DoJ has to look at. I don’t see the DoJ suit going away and the FCC signing off on this. Goodbye death star. Your greed came back to bite you in the ass.

  • Blah

    LMAO. AT&T looks like MegaTron

    • Bklynman

      LoL! Good am not the only one who see a robot in picture!

    • Mbolden26

      Thats the att tower in NASHVILLE,TN

      • 20 °

        AKA “The batman building”

  • Jaygqitalia

    Thats disappointing. I almost want the deal to go through because who knows what will happen with Tmobile if there not the ones who get it. Id rather ATT then some other crappier company buying it out. Either way its going to be sold. I also want the damn Iphone

    • You can use the iPhone on T-Mobile. You just need to buy it unlocked from Apple :).

      • Jaygqitalia

        Yeah but thats ALOT of money to spend on a phone with no insurance on it. Id switch carriers but I rely on UMA very heavily to make my calls while home. 

        • Anonymous

          No insurance? you can always buy insurance you don’t have to get it from your carrier but why would you want to? Asurion insurance is the biggest scam of all if you don’t use it. I mean you pay 8$ a month and when you do place a claim you have to pay 130$ you are also limited to 3 claims but if you have an iPhone the only insurance you need is an OtterBox.

    • Jeffreygreen1315

      You can always change carriers!

    • Bklynman

      Go buy unlock one then!

    • Anonymous

      What? why? are you insane any company outside of the big 3 is better than any part of the big 3 getting it. AT&T doesn’t need us they just want to eliminate us. Verizon would be the same and Sprint… well they are just one huge mess. Do you want to pay a lot for cell phone plans? they already make us pay a lot for data if it wasn’t for t-mobile being budget friendly we would be paying out our a’s for data 

    • Exactly how I feel I want the deal to go through

  • They’re acting as if the deal will get done… But they know that this deal is dead. They just don’t want to upset their shareholders by walking away and admitting this deal is dead.

  • BigMixxx

    Wait, what?  

    is there a precedence here?  I’m not sure…….this is an implication of millions of dollars lost on both ends…

    • Brianb

      Tmobile doesn’t lose ANYTHING.  They never really had the money from AT&T yet.  Tmo gets a lump sum of cash, All the AT&T AWS sectrum and roaming agreement from AT&T for Tmo’s troubles (AT&T gets nothing and shouldn’t). DK can then sell Tmobile to comcast, Telefonica, Orange mobile or someone else that will keep the cell market competitive.

      • Correction, DT gets the cash. Not T-Mobile.

        • BigMixxx

          @45f28b4b72f4f5e5d3fdeea9c1ed5db4:disqus  and @davidtmonews:disqus 

          This will literally cost millions on both ends;  to prolong the acquisition process devaluates the company being acquired and the seller’s overall stock and the asset.  Not to mention T mobile’s value as well as the customer base will completely be GONE.  Maybe this was part of Deathstar’s plan, eh?

          This is now a spectrum purchase/competition elimination obviously…ATT is holding has a side bet on 3 card poker now and it seems that all bidders for the T-mobile assets are at the table.

      • BigMixxx

        I don’t think there is a precedence for extending a deadline, especially in an acquisition….I’m still looking

  • Anthonynyc1a

    well, like l always say att its a realy bad cellphone company,cause they charge to much,they charge for anything t-mobile,its better company.please DOJ,FCC,don let us,alone.

    • WelfareSTATEemployee

      You want to be left alone but T-Mobile is the one selling out?  So now you want the govt. to FORCE T-Mobile to remain in business because you think they are better than AT&T?

      What’s happening to our country?  T-Mobile should be allowed to sell themselves if they want to.  They are a business not a welfare charity.  

      • Voiceofreason

        The problem is T-Mobile tends to attract the entitlement crowd who thinks the govt. should do and give everything for them.  They want cheap free stuff but expect businesses to remain in business in such circumstances.   

        Go to any retail store and observe.  The people who pay their groceries with WIC or food stamps (for the past 20 years) probably have a T-Mobile phone.  

        That is why there is such a rabid outcry by them to save a company who doesn’t want to do business here anymore.  You are right T-Mobile as a corporation should be allowed to sell to another company should they choose  but it looks like they will likely be broken up so all the winers can become Cricket or Metro PCS customers instead.  

        • MaryJaneJohansen

          I recently left T-Mobile because I wanted the iP4 from AT&T.

          I remember though how stereotypically ghetto the customers were inside the T-Mobile corp stores.  I mean every bad stereotype you can think of were represented.  

          You had customers already on a payment plan trying to get their 4 month past due accounts reactivated by paying half of it cash.  It was like the DMV in Compton or Watts.  

          I can see why these same people are terrified of AT&T’s higher credit standards.  But cheap customers have a lot of alternatives:  Metro, Leap/Cricket, Virgin, Boost, Net 10, Tracfone, Page Plus etc.  

          AT&T does cost more but T-Mobile subs will be allowed to keep their rate plans so I’m not so sure they even know why they are crying other than some fear of the unknown?  Plus AT&T has a larger national network with more HSPA coverage not to mention a LTE network that is ever growing.  It’s not as bad as people told me it’d be and I think if others calmed down a bit and tried it for themselves or just let the merger finish it’s not going to be the end of the world.  


        • Brianb

          T-mobile customers will be allowed to keep their plans until they need a new phone or AT&T ‘requires’ a feature change (LTE 4g).  Or when AT&T finishes LTE?  You will have to “upgrade” to an AT&T plan that supports LTE (and a phone upgrade.)  They will basically give Tmobile customers a “grace period” of a couple years at the old rate plan.

          AND PEOPLE–READ occasionally!  T-mobile will not go bankrupt! It can’t!  It actually MAKES money NOW.  DK, the company that owns T-mobile USA, is ALSO a HUGE European company.  DK isn’t going bankrupt either.  AT&T just offered them so much money that DK took it.

          Any number of company can buy Tmobile now and keep the market competitive.  IE:  Comcast, Telefonica, Orange Mobile, etc…quite a few companies would be interested.

        • Anonymous

          Like “Move Your Money Day”, the smart-money customers stay away from the places that ream and nickle-and-dime them. You can keep your racism at home.

          As I understand it, T-Mobile has the biggest HSPA+ coverage. There’s no need to jump to LTE since the caps and overages prevents you from using it (besides paying an arm for a new phone/plan) anyways.

        • Corporatocracy

          Sorry MaryJaneJohansen, but you are either a paid AT&T shill, or just a dense elitist.

          Read any objective review of AT&T (Consumer Reports, etc.) and you will find that they are at the bottom of the barrel for most metrics. My experience talking to those on AT&T cell phones is that their network is congested and their half codec voice quality is inferior.

          Customers are with T-Mobile because they choose to be with T-Mobile. T offers plenty of good phone options, great voice quality, high speed data in many markets, and the lowest nationwide carrier rates.

          So you chose to spend $100 on the iPhone 4 with AT&T contract, whereas we chose to spend $-50 (yes, $50 cash back) on a Moto Defy with T contract. Both phones do essentially the same thing, except that we end up with a lot more money in the bank. Who is the smarter one here?

          The buyout, as proposed, will not go through due to anti-competitive reasons. Sorry to burst your bubble.

        • MIKEEEEE

          @ceb117c1015151ac0804e62fab67dd43:disqus been a voicestream/t-mo customer for over 10 years.

          you can’t afford to buy the cigars i smoke.

          don’t count other’s money by looking down on them.

      • Corporatocracy

        I guess you haven’t read any history books.  Look up the Clayton and Sherman Anti-Trust Acts.

        A leading expert says “It’s only a slight overstatement to say that if they weren’t going to
        block this one, the Justice Department might as well just throw the
        antitrust guidelines out the window,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, professor
        of law at the University of Iowa, who is considered by many to be the
        dean of American antitrust law. “This merger clearly seems to violate

        Sure DT can sell T-Mobile USA, just not to AT&T. Get it?

      • T-Mobile isn’t being forced to stay in business. They just can’t merge with any of the national wireless providers. Why?


        Now do you understand?

        They can just sell to a cable company or Vodafone or any other foreign carrier!

  • BigMixxx

    ok, let me see…I liken this to the Verizon-Alltel merger (kinda)

    The alltel-Verizon deal closed in 7 months.  Not as complicated, but a deal worth 28 billion to TPG.  This is a 39 billion dollar deal that will close in 15 months, which is much simpler.  Verizon sells off 105 markets to make the deal go through. some of those markets were scooped up by ATT, which is just really finishing the transition…this year….Still costing them money.

    AT&T is keeping up with the joneses by attempting an LTE rollout, BAD move on AT&T’s part, as it sets the precedence for it’s LTE network to be on the amalgamation of 700 mhz and AWS bands. This will cost them a LOT of money especially with premium mobile phone makers.  Apple especially.

    Plus an acquisition, really 2 acquisitions going on…Still costing them money.

    I’d expected ATT to have burned through a lot of cash in litigation, pushing a worthless LTE data spectrum out, and completing acquisitions, in the next 2 quarters.  iPhone is really holding them up right now.  There is an opinion out that ATT really should spend money on towers and backhaul network.  Their wireless operating expenses will reach 10 or 11 billion this year.  They are seeing significant growth in Wireless but the spend is SO high there.  wireline services are increasing as well, and they are finally seeing a profit.  If they dig a bit, I bet my left testicle that those customers are seeing value in merging their mobile and home services.  

    Yet still, wireless costs are extremely high (IMHO) to support the customer base, especially with an amalgamation of networks they have.  To deploy LTE, NOW, will skyrocket those costs, and bleed into the free cashflow, quickly.  To acquire another company, now, and complete a merger, now will also creep into the deep free cash flow.

    My opinion,  create a unified network with t mobile spectrum i.e one of the best roaming agreements in the industry.  I’d turn to DT and do a big agreement there to expand AT&T overall backhaul service and increase coverage.  3 years deal worth billions with minimum increase in revenue of 4 billion a year because of the shift in operating costs from t mobile. That’s 20 billion during the soft acquisition of T mobile.  Abuse HSPA service from T mobile and deploy LTE out through the T mobile spectrum.
    (you must force shit operations and merge gracefully vs. putting up 20 to 30% of the company)

    During that short-long haul, expand the HSPA+ services and enable towers to LTE and LTE-A.   Take advantage of 20 billion a year from T mobile USA operations and not burn through their own free cash to fund your operations.   Investors will love this, because it keeps that 40 to 43 cents dividend coming in, possibly turning into 48 to 53 cents.  The Government will LOVE this, as there will be, not 1 LTE provider, but 4 and 2 with a clear roadmap to faster services.  This will also reduce overall operating costs to wireless services for ATT and T mobile, and provide a another consumer base for wireline service, so ATT can expand wireline service to other parts of the country.  That is worth billions over the next 5 years…(minimum 20 billion + the cost of the roaming agreements).

    That will never happen…

    • Anonymous

      Although your assessment was eloquent and well thought out, I doubt anyone who reads these comments understands anything you just said. 

      • BigMixxx

        I was just typing……I still have not seen a precedence where a timeline for acquisition shifted like this….it’s ugly to me right….

        Doesn’t matter, I’m here to the boat sinks..


    proper word usage is ’til not till.

    ’til is a contraction of the word until.

    till is a cash register drawer.

    regardless, ATT is trying to back out of the deal without their senior executives looking as stupid as they really are.

    DT should hold them to the original closing day or fork over the breakup fee ’til the deal actually closes.

  • Lilmicky3

    lets get the merger approved !!!!!  ya’ll dont realize what the impact would be  on all the employees who work for tmo..yes granted that att charges a lot than tmo.. but this will be the best thing that will happened.. ATT  is smart.. this merger will go through no matter what so dont keep you hopes up high that the FCC AND DOJ will disapprove the deal … i know this for a fact… LETS GO ATTMOBILE and get this merger on.. stop hatin its just business..

    • Sit tight… It’s not going to happen.

  • Anonymous

    For those not following Harold Feld of Public Knowledge, this is further sign that AT&T is realizing that the acquisition has increasing chances to fail.

    So they’re trying to get more time to lobby, and gather their “defense”. This resistance is increasing the post acquisition costs of: how to divest assets, how to deal with creating a separate T-Mobile-lite (it can’t be AT&T in order to make DoJ/FCC happy), and a whole bunch of complications (recognized GSM monopoly from the Sprint/C-Spire hearings) they wholly were unprepared for.

    It’s getting to the point where it may cost AT&T much-much more to acquire T-Mobile then to drop it. They may get a share-holder uprising too.

    • BRIANB

      Are they hoping a presidential election and change of party may help them with the DOJ?  in Late 2012?

      Why is AT&T being allowed to push this so long?  The judge should fast track this and make a verdict by this December.  THEN IT IS DONE!

      • Anonymous

        Ya, but it’s not going to help AT&T either way that late into the game, since new Administration can’t defund nor lobby DoJ enough without looking publicly crooked.

        Otherwise, this is the way court proceedings go. If one party asks for more time to prep, and the other side has no issues allowing it in fairness and humanity, it’s usually allowed.

        You can push decisions on a traffic ticket back by almost 1 year+ due to scheduling, location, discovery, preparation, mail delay, etc — for comparison.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    OK, here’s my super-long post that explains how the Judge is thinking, through the eyes of her recent decision allowing the Sprint and C Spire cases to go forward.

    IMO, the Judge’s ruling on those cases tells me that she will find in favor of consumers (DOJ) and find that the AT&T acquisition violates the Clayton Act (I’m posting this here so TMoNews gets credit on the search engines. So the usual haters, spare the flames. You only confirm your idiocy):

    Sprint and C Spire Wireless can continue parts of their antitrust lawsuit to prevent AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, a federal judge ruled.

    The Judge ruled that BOTH companies in the complaint SUFFICIENTLY alleged future harm should AT&T be allowed to acquire T-Mobile. What is interesting (and people here in TMoNews should note) in allowing the cases to go forward the Judge’s ruling focused on post-acquisition availability of handsets/devices to Sprint, C Spire and smaller carriers.

    Basically, it is what I have been saying in here for a long time, about exclusive handset deals (between manufacturers and big carriers) hurt the small-smaller post-paid and prepaid carriers. The Judge acknowledged that DEVICES are becoming the PRIMARY DRIVER in consumers selecting wireless service.

    Simply put, a bigger AT&T might force device MANUFACTURERS into exclusive deals with AT&T, cutting out or limiting smaller providers handset selection.

    “Mobile wireless devices, and smartphones in particular, are [analogous to] Sprint’s and Cellular South’s first-run movies, mall locations suitable for department stores, and shelf space and promotional time,” the Judge Huvelle noted in her ruling.

    “By acquiring T-Mobile, AT&T could so increase its [phone/device] buying power as to dictate terms to device manufacturers and otherwise impair plaintiffs’ [Sprint, C Spire] access to these necessary inputs. Judged against these standards, the court concludes that plaintiffs’ complaints contain sufficient facts, which must at this stage be accepted as true, to state a plausible claim
    to threatened loss or damage in the market for mobile wireless devices.”

    Note: what the Court means by “accepted as true” means that in a Motion to Dismiss, since it is a motion made early in the case, the Judge is required to accept as true any factual statements Sprint and C Spire put in the complaint. To win the case, at trial Sprint and C Spire will have to provide evidence sufficient to prove the facts alleged in the complaint.

    For example: Sprint alleged if the deal went through that it could not compete for nearly five years against exclusive manufacturing deals that AT&T, and more recently Verizon, struck with Apple to provide service for iPhone devices.

    C Spire alleged in its complaint that it and other small carriers have often been refused access to current devices and given access only when the device is no longer the most current model with the big carriers. And to top it off when C Spire was Cellular South it and other carriers received older
    phones at higher prices. C Spire alleges the proposed merger will continue and exacerbate that conduct. (See why C Spire got the iPhone 4S!)

    As to my previous post saying that the Judge’s ruling portends she will rule against the acquisition, the Judge said the smaller carrier’s claims to antitrust injury from the proposed transaction’s effect on the market for wireless devices are, if anything, even more plausible.

    IMO, and as I posted before, there might be nothing in the facts of the case that would change between now and next year when the Judge makes a decision in the case, that is, in terms of the handset availability issue. However, on recent events IMO manufacturers, Apple, Microsoft, and carriers may be “conspiring” to eliminate the handset manufacturing exclusivity from the case. If they eliminate this issue, in the eyes of the Judge it may make the Sprint and C Spire cases moot. In other words, the cases will be dismissed.

    Getting the device exclusivity issue rendered moot is why, as I posted before, that we should look as recent handset activity as a legal strategy:

    – Metro PCS got the LG Esteem (a Verizon phone called the “Revolution,” $559 retail);

    – Apple and AT&T allowed C Spire to get the iPhone 4S (a carrier with a paltry 900,000 subscribers);

    – Verizon dropped calling the Galaxy Nexus a device exclusive to it. 

    – Manufacturers adding smaller and prepaid carriers to debut notification lists.

    – Etc.

    Remember, this exclusivity issue does NOT deal with a carrier having the debut exclusive (that is, what we on the consumer end see, such as the iPhone launch and availability only at AT&T), it is the deal that the most powerful carriers make with manufacturers — as part of a large phone
    order the manufacturer agrees with the carrier that it will NOT make available to smaller carriers (including prepaid carriers) phones similar in specs or appearance.

    Background facts: For years smaller carriers have complained about the exclusive manufacturing deals that carriers were cutting with Samsung, Motorola, and others,  basically prohibiting
    small carriers from ordering decent handsets. (It is this history that the Judge acknowledged is a problem and that gives credence to Sprint’s and C Spire’s concerns about not being able to order up decent handsets should Verizon and AT&T continue with these exclusive manufacture deals.)

    Humorous Sidenote: Many in here and on the Net have poked fun at prepaid carriers for their hideous handset selection. Few, if any, users knew that it was not for want of prepaids ordering decent phones; it was that the major carriers through Exclusive Manufacturing Agreements forbid the manufacturers from making nicely spec’d phones for prepaid carriers.

    To be sure, it was only recently that can-do-no-wrong Google allowed licensing of Android to prepaid carriers.

    Copyright © 2011 Michael Mortimer, Business Litigation Group, Second Chair Publications.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    People are getting it all wrong. This has nothing to do with T-Mobile being folded out of existence or T-Mobile being forced to stay in business.

    – T-Mobile being sold, continue operating, or going out of business are NOT issues before the court, notwithstanding AT&T’s efforts to use T-Mobile’s well-being, business status or future as reasons to approve the deal.

    – It is also not an issue before the court what T-Mobile will do should the Court find a violation of the Clayton Act (effectively nixing the deal, albeit there’s nothing to prevent AT&T and T-Mobile reconfiguring the deal so it passes DOJ muster, to where it won’t file suit).

    – What is before the Court is AT&T acquiring T-Mobile U.S., to where AT&T becomes so big that it can squash or control competitors (via handset selection and plan pricing), the net affect consumers not having choice.

    These distinctions are important because:

    – If the Court rules in our favor (that is, consumers) don’t get your hopes up. Just because the AT&T deal is disapproved this does not mean TMOUS will continue to exist. It is anyone’s guess (who is not an insider at the top of DT) what its plans for TMOUS are should DT lose the case.

    – In all likelihood if the Court rejects the AT&T acquisition, it will also reject TMOUS being acquired by Sprint or other company that has the same affect of severely limiting consumer choice. This may motivate DT to either liquidate TMOUS piecemeal, or:

    – DT could sell to someone interested in getting into the wireless business. Most significant, you have to accept that selling to someone else means a NEGATIVE change in what you like about the current TMOUS.

    – Quite likely DT could sell TMOUS to a company you hate, maybe more than AT&T!

    – If DT chooses to keep TMOUS operating, IMO there’s a 100% certainty that TMOUS will morph out of existence from the Company you love. You can already see the writing on the wall. TMOUS farms out customer service, has gotten rid of most its great pricing, got rid of its favorably-priced data plans, got rid of free tethering, and instituted the same draconian policies and procedures as its bigger rivals.

    As I said over 18 months ago, DT’s plan to make bigger profits from TMOUS would be to institute negative changes bit by bit, so that users would not suffer “sticker shock” and leave TMOUS. Someone should make a list of every change T-Mobile has made and when each change was made, for example, when T-Mobile went from 10GB, 5GB, then 2GB data.

    • Hark

      Your analysis of the legal situation is appreciated, your predictions about tmobiles future is not supported by fact. The plans have gotten cheaper in recent months. T-Mobile had 2gb plans but never abandoned 5gb plans and they throttle after you hit the limit, not cut you off…their data policies are not not comparable to verizon or att 2gb for $25 at all.

  • Denny Lewis

    batman……..nanananananananananananananannana……. batman, building.  Nashville