Justice Department Questioning If AT&T, T-Mobile Deal Still Active?

The Justice Department, in a Tuesday telephone conference call questioned whether AT&T’s application to buy T-Mobile was still active. This comes from Richard Levie, a special master overseeing the Department of Justice case against the AT&T, T-mobile deal.

“DOJ interprets these comments to mean that the current litigation may, in fact, not present a live case or controversy,” Levie wrote in an order.

Levie did say that he believes the Department of Justice can move forward with the case without a license transfer application pending at the Federal Communication Commission.

“The FCC-related activities have not … altered the status of this litigation,” he wrote. “Although FCC approval is necessary for the proposed merger, so, too, is a favorable ruling from the federal court in this case. As there is no requirement of which the Special Master is aware that one approval must come before the other, the federal court case remains on track.”

AT&T declined to comment on the Justice Department comments on the status of the merger and the trials is set to begin on February 13th. A scheduling conference is scheduled for tomorrow in the District of Columbia to determine the current status of the case.


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  • Anonymous

    I hope that AT&T lack of comments is akin to a deer in the headlights


    • Or someone caught with their hand in the cookie jar! :)

      • Oreo

        Or in there pants lol. (;

        • guest

          or in their nose….

  • Anonymous

    Delaying the inevitable.

  • Anonymous

    Ah… perhaps that is why they removed the application with the FCC.  Try and end the case before it starts and hammer out agreements with the regional carriers.

  • BigMixxx

    BIOTCHHHHH!  Get back on them streets….

    • Stakkabo

      Hilarious! I hate At&t

  • BigMixxx

    I think the justice department just said quick playing with yourself or you will go blind.  it’s over…

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Exactly Big. The DOJ is saying “sheet or get off the pot.”

      The DOJ, like any law firm, has lots of work to do, ON OTHER CASES. If AT&T has no intention of doing the deal, the DOJ would like to know so that it can assign the lawyers to work on other matters.

      Preparing for trial requires a lot of work, especially complex Clayton Act cases. Each side can rack up $5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs, even when it is a court trial (meaning not tried before a jury).

      The only reason AT&T would expend that kind of money is if it would get something of value out of defending the case, such as a precedent, making new law (that benefits AT&T) or green lighting the deal, from a legal (antitrust) perspective.

      But think about it, even if AT&T won in court, the FCC has indicated it will NOT approve AT&T’s application. IMO that would render AT&T’s win in fed court the textbook definition of a Pyrrhic victory.

      • BigMixxx

        Feel you there ItsMichaelNotMike.  However, AT&T may have a real chance:
        What I’m thinking…

        Reading this: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/August/11-at-1118.html

        The justice department really brings up some general items that surround the clayton act.  It seems that it set up the FCC to do some digging.  Now that the FCC has specific cases where the company has sited, they may only be required to defend the FCC’s findings and disprove the ‘Clayton act’ and the words around competition elimination.  If they can get the document throw out, they may have an ice cubes chance in florida.

  • Tbyrne

    It’s like the school yard bully got a beat down and the dude who put him down is asking if he’s had enough. Gotta love it. : )


    i love it!

    step on then when they’re down.

    did anyone ever think the purchase process is a subtle way for att to stop t-mo in its tracks for a year and not move forward?

  • The fat lady is performing live at the AT&T headquarters in Redmond, Washington next week. BYOB, and don’t forget to attend the huge party blowout afterwards.

  • Yancy

    And…….. Double Bit*h Slapped! I knew it would happend! Just not this bad, and I’m loving to see this happen! About time they did something to end At&t’s behavior of monching on other carriers!

  • AfroLogic

    ATT just got pimped slapped by the doj. 

  • Silk7412

    I seen this at the fcc filings and had to put it here!!

    ‘Tmobile customers hear me! It is true what many of you have heard. ATT have gathered an army andas I speak that army is drawing nearer to our home.Believe me when I say we have a difficult time ahead of us but if we are to be prepared for it we mustfirst shed our fear of it. I stand hear before you now truly unafraid! Why?! Because I believesomething you do not? No! I stand here without fear because I remember.I remember that I am hear not because of the path that lay before me.. but because of the path thatlies behind me!I remember that for so many years we have fought ATT!Keeping our customers happy and rates low.I remember that for so years they have sent their armies to destroy us and after a century of war Iremember that which matters most! WE ARE STILL HERE! Tonight let us send a message to thatATT! Let us shake the FCC! Tonight let us tremble these walls of earth, steel and wireless service!Let us be heard from deathstar and to each city! Tonight let us make them remember this isTMOBILE and we are not afraid!”ok -it was really mine and i just wanted to share!!

    • Thanks Morpheus.

      • If like thwe one. i have one from scarface that will kil ya!!!

  • Anonymous

    No snarky comeback AT&Terrible?

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    My money is on AT&T telling the DOJ and the Court it is formally withdrawing the deal, because:

    — The Judge has sent signals that it will be finding AGAINST AT&T on the deal.

    — AT&T has withdrawn its FCC application, IMO as a prelude to canceling the entire deal.

    — AT&T sees no value in going to trial in a case it will most likely lose.

    — AT&T does NOT want to set a precedent by going to trial.

    — AT&T has set aside $4 billion to pay Deutsche Telekom the breakup fee.

    — AT&T has already planned on taking the 2010 tax benefits on the breakup fee payment. It can’t write the fee off if it does not in fact pay the money.

    — To reap the 2010 tax benefits AT&T will have to pay DT the fee, so I see it paying that fee quite soon. That fee won’t be paid unless the deal is really dead, so… the deal is really dead.

    — At some point Deutsche Telekom would have a case against AT&T if it AT&T had no intention of doing the deal but simply dragged things out to delay paying the breakup fee and otherwise prevent DT from moving on and competing in the marketplace.

    — To prevent DT from suing AT&T for claims such as Interference with Contract, economic and prospective economic advantage, interference with contract and other theories, I can see AT&T cutting the cord with Deutsche Telekom before the New Year.

    Bottom line: I see AT&T’s lawyers telling the Judge that it is not doing the deal. The Judge will then turn to the DOJ lawyers and say she will sign a submitted dismissal, without prejudice (meaning the DOJ can refile suit if AT&T went after other competitors, big or small. If AT&T’s intent is to take out a competitor or influence prices in the wireless market, the DOJ will be there, again. LOL).

    • AfroLogic

      Wow, that was very thorough. I like your thinking and your logic. I really hope you are right and this deal falls apart. 

  • The DOJ will file the motion on Tuesday in response to AT&T’s decision in November to withdraw its application at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for the transfer of T-Mobile’s spectrum licenses to AT&T, said Joseph Wayland, the DOJ’s lead attorney in the case. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Wayland said during a scheduling hearing in the antitrust case.