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At a court hearing this morning, the Justice Department said it will file next Tuesday at noon a motion to stay the case or to have it withdrawn. AT&T will have by the end of Wednesday to reply and a hearing will be held on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
The following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:
“We are pleased that the Justice Department will file next week to halt the case against the AT&T takeover of T-Mobile. Judge Ellen Huvelle was right to be skeptical about AT&T’s claims that ‘nothing has changed’ since the company withdrew its application from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“AT&T is attempting to use the court system to force approval of the deal from the FCC and to avoid a break-up fee before the deal’s deadline next year. As Huvelle pointed out, any concerns about timing, however, are of AT&T’s own making.
“AT&T sketched out a fantasy scenario to gain approval of a deal which is in itself a fantasy, as the comprehensive FCC staff report found. Rather than cost taxpayers and private companies millions of dollars in fees to pursue this fantasy, AT&T should abandon a transaction which will raise prices, hurt consumers and stifle innovation.”