AT&T's bid to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion has faced a major obstacle with the lawsuit filed against the merger by the US Department of Justice. Federal Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, who will be overseeing the case, has set a timeline for the parties involved to file a joint plan by September 16 and a settlement hearing on September 21.
Plans to purchase T-Mobile were first announced back in March, and since then AT&T has been struggling to fight antitrust concerns and to prove to the FCC why the acquisition is necessary. The Now Network carrier, the third largest in the country, has been most adamant in opposing the merger, which has also seen plenty of opposition from fear that the merger would cut jobs and hike rate plans.
Despite all this, AT&T seemed confident in moving forward with the acquisition and was surprised by the DOJ's sudden move to file an antitrust suit against the deal, which claimed that the merger would "remove a significant competitive force from the market." The DOJ filing was made on August 31.
AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile USA, along with the DOJ will have to file a joint plan by September 16 on scheduling and managing the case, which will be heard on September 21. The three parties have been ordered by the judge to "discuss the prospects for settlement."
[via NY Times]