AT&T Drops Acquisition of T-Mobile Due To Government Opposition

Dec 20, 2011

Yesterday, AT&T, Inc. renounced its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, Inc., owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, according to paidContent. AT&T will have to pay Deutsche Telekom $4 billion for breaking the deal off, but the companies also just announced a joint roaming agreement; further details have not been provided.

AT&T cited the U.S. government's strong opposition as reason for the merger relinquishment and added that this "does not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry." Had it gone through, the acquisition would have created the largest wireless company in the U.S. by a strong margin: AT&T is presently the second-largest company; T-Mobile, the fourth.

In a hearing, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that AT&T had not proved the merger would either create jobs or that it would not lead to an unprecedented concentration of market power in the wireless industry.