For the first time since a wrench had been thrown into AT&T’s plan to acquire T-Mobile, the communications giant is considering scrapping the whole $39 billion idea.
On Monday, at the request of both AT&T and the Department of Justice (DOJ), a district judge in Washington, D.C., agreed to postpone the government’s proceedings to challenge the merger in an effort to give the company more time to evaluate its options. In a statement, AT&T said, “We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals.”
This is the first time AT&T has spoken about possibly not moving forward with the merger. Although it recently hinted at the idea of dropping the acquisition, the company had only commented about its effort to obtain regulatory approval for the highly controversial transaction.
AT&T first announced its plan to buy T-Mobile, which is owned by Germany-based Deutsche Telekom AG, in March. Several months later, the DOJ sued to block the deal, claiming such a merger would result in millions of consumers “facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services.”