John Stephens, CFO of AT&T, said the wireless carrier is steadfast with its plan to buy T-Mobile USA despite huge opposition from the FCC – and they have the financial resources available to do it, naysayers be damned.
Speaking at a UBS media conference in New York, Stephens said the company will “continue to move forward with [its] efforts to complete the T-Mobile transaction…and we will continue to pursue the sale.”
Stephens said AT&T plans on using $10 billion the company has accumulated to close the deal. If that paltry sum isn’t enough, Ma Bell has an $8 billion back up plan in place along with a $20 billion bridge facility. Cha-ching.
“We clearly have an ability to close the deal very quickly and have those resources,” Stephens boasted. “That is the plan.”
Stephens is sounding pretty confident, especially when opponents of the merger vehemently believe combining the second largest wireless carrier, AT&T, with the fourth, T-Mobile, would hurt competition. Right now, AT&T is betting on victory, with no Plan B.
What did AT&T have to say in response to critics – like MetroPCS’s J. Braxton Carter – who have voiced their opinions on the matter? Stephens deemed their comments as “inappropriate.”
Recently, AT&T has been embroiled in an antitrust case with the Department of Justice, which is set to go to trial in February of next year. According to Reuters, Stephens said AT&T plans on seeing how the lawsuit “would play out” before deciding if it would lay out plans to address and remedy antitrust concerns.
Something AT&T does need to address is its Consumer Reports standing. Worst U.S. carrier for two years running? Bravo. Perhaps your assets should be focused elsewhere, AT&T, rather than trying to purchase the little guy.