In a recent Bloomberg Captains of Industry interview, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson talked about his company’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. He remarked that if the $39 billion dollar deal is blocked, it will result in higher prices for subscribers. He made the point the acquisition would help AT&T ease its overtaxed network with more capacity (spectrum), which is something that seems to elude Congress: ”Regulators can’t keep up with the changes in the industry.”
As it is, AT&T has pulled its FCC application to buy Tmo so that it could concentrate on anti-trust charges filed by the Department of Justice. But without the carrier’s FCC bid, the case sort of falls apart — which would explain the latest turn of events: The DOJ is said to be delaying or dropping the charges.
So where does that leave things? Well, certainly with an eye on the carrier. Previously, experts had predicted that if the company wins the case, it would likely refile its application. But there’s no win here, seemingly nothing to stop the DOJ from stepping in again.
Although the specter of the DOJ looms over this situation, I still can’t see AT&T just letting this go. What do you think? Will the carrier drop its acquisition attempts, refile with the FCC, or something else? Weigh in with your theories.