AT&T considers bigger asset sale to save T-Mobile deal

AT&T's bid to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion has collapsed following reports that the FCC was requesting an administrative hearing regarding the deal. In a pre-emptive move, AT&T withdrew its T-Mobile proposal from the FCC and added the $4 billion breakup charge to its Q4 2011 finances. However, a source from Bloomberg is now claiming that AT&T may be considering one last plea of offering to sell more assets to save the T-Mobile deal.

According to the source, AT&T is offering to divest a much larger portion of assets than it had initially expected. That amount could be as much as 40 percent of T-Mobile USA's assets. The move would be to address the concerns of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which had sued to block the merger back in August. AT&T insisted that withdrawing its FCC application for the deal was so that it could focus on addressing the DOJ lawsuit first.

The proposal to sell a larger portion of assets could be presented as soon as November 30, during the next hearing with the DOJ. AT&T could end up paying less than the original $39 billion offer should regulators agree to asset sales greater than 20 percent of that number or about $7.8 billion. Otherwise, AT&T may have to duke it out in a full court battle, of which the first trial date is scheduled for February 13.

[via Bloomberg]