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Background: AT&T said late yesterday it would withdraw its application to take over T-Mobile from the Federal Communications Commission, while continuing to fight the antitrust case from the Justice Dept. in court. It would also take a $4 billion charge against earnings.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
"After today's actions, the chances that AT&T will take over T-Mobile are almost gone. While you can never count out AT&T entirely, the fact that they pulled their FCC application speaks volumes about the company's lack of confidence that it could prove in a legal setting at the FCC the claims it spent millions of dollars to make about job creation and rural deployment of broadband, among other issues.
"AT&T's move will, for the moment, prevent the FCC from making public its many, well-documented findings that the deal is not in the public interest and will prevent the judge overseeing the antitrust lawsuit from seeing the FCC's conclusions. Those findings would be the subject of the large and complex administrative hearing and process that AT&T would still need to survive in order to complete the $39 billion transaction.
"We hope that AT&T would similarly withdraw its application from the Justice Department and end this charade once and for all."