Even though it seems all the forces of the world are against it, AT&T has vowed to keep pursuing the T-Mobile deal to the bitter end.
And it likely will be a bitter end, as AT&T has faced nothing but growing concerns ever since it first signed the contract with T-Mobile.
That contract was, of course, all contingent upon being able to get regulatory approval from the government, which must agree that the deal will not give AT&T monopolistic powers.
So far, the government is not on AT&T’s side. The FCC released a stinging report saying there’s no way a super carrier like the one AT&T and T-Mobile would become would lead to anything other than reduced competition and higher prices.
In addition, the US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against AT&T claiming the entire idea is illegal due to antitrust laws.
Nevertheless, “We continue to move forward with our efforts to complete the T-Mobile transaction…and we will continue to pursue the sale,” said AT&T CFO John Stephens in a recent news conference, as quoted by Reuters.
AT&T has the “ability to close the deal very quickly,” Stephens said, but it’s really not up to AT&T at this point.
The carrier will need to prove in court that a T-Mobile acquisition would not make it a monopoly, even though the resulting company would be the biggest mobile provider by far, and the only one operating on the network standard known as GSM.
AT&T has tried to convince regulators that by becoming a behemoth company it would actually create jobs by ending overseas outsourcing. When that argument didn’t win anyone over, it presented a couple contingency plans, including selling off some of T-Mobile’s assets to a smaller carrier and, as a last resort, creating a “joint venture” with T-Mobile that would not involve absorbing the company.