AT&T’s bid to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion may have to wait until at least past February of next year. A trial date for February 13 was set today by US District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice joined by seven states against the AT&T and T-Mobile merger.
The DOJ had filed the lawsuit back in August, claiming that the merger would make AT&T too large and would reduce competition. A hearing was scheduled for today for both sides to discuss settlement prospects, but those discussions didn’t happen. Instead, AT&T is not seeking to dismiss the government’s lawsuit and is instead seeking to got to trial as soon as possible.
“We’re seeking a prompt trial because we’re very interested in closing this transaction,” said AT&T lawyser Mark Hansen. “We need to have the cloud of uncertainty removed. We’re already a month beyond where we want to be.”
The date selected is a compromise between the expedited request from AT&T and the more extended request by the DOJ, which was for a month later than the February date.