Judge may dismiss DoJ lawsuit

Heh. Now that AT&T withdrew their application from the FCC’s consideration, the judge hearing the DoJ’s lawsuit against AT&T is considering dropping the lawsuit as well. This means that the T-Mobile deal is dead if this happens:

Lawyers for AT&T and T-Mobile, saying the government’s suit against them had turned into their best hope to complete the transaction, urged U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in Washington to keep the case on track for a Feb. 13 trial. The U.S. argued the case may be moot after AT&T withdrew its merger application at the Federal Communications Commission.

A decision to dismiss or delay the Justice Department’s case would put the deal all but out of reach for AT&T. The company’s strategy for regulatory approval rests on winning a favorable court decision it could use at the FCC to argue that the transaction isn’t anticompetitive. Without such a ruling, AT&T has no chance of getting the deal done, T-Mobile’s lawyer, George Cary, told Huvelle at a hearing yesterday.

Excellent.

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