ATT withdraws FCC application on T-Mobile USA deal, to take $4B charge

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Two days after learning the Federal Communications Commission would seek a hearing on the deal, and on a national holiday presumably to diminish the attention, AT&T (T) said it was withdrawing its FCC application to acquire T-Mobile USA. AT&T, along with T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsche Telekom said they would now focus on gaining Department of Justice approval on the proposed $39 billion deal, which the DoJ filed a lawsuit in August to block.

“Both the companies are taking this step to facilitate the consideration of all options at the U.S.’s Federal Communications Commission and to focus their continuing efforts on obtaining antitrust clearance for the transaction from the Department of Justice either through the litigation pending before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 1:11-cv-01560 (ESH) or alternate means,” AT&T stated in a release.

According to media reports, both the companies said they had withdrawn applications to the FCC regarding the $39 billion proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA. But they have not yet given up hope of sealing the deal too.

“Both companies are continuing to pursue the sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T,” the companies said in a statement.

Meanwhile, AT&T also reported that it will take a $4 billion ($3 billion cash and $1 billion book value of spectrum) pretax accounting charge during the current fourth quarter to reflect a portion of the potential break-up fees due to Deutsche Telekom in the event the transaction does not receive regulatory approval.

That break-up fee was to include $3 billion in cash, a substantial portion of AT&T Mobility’s 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum holdings and a nationwide 3G roaming agreement.

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