Last March, AT&T announced its bombshell plan to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion, officially reducing the number of major US carriers to three: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
News of the unanticipated acquisition rocked the mobile world as AT&T committed itself to “a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns.”
Less than six month after AT&T revealed its plans, the United States Department of Justice has apparently decided to effectively block AT&T’s pending deal.
Although the Justice Department is yet to offer formal comment on the reported decision, sources tell the AP that “the acquisition of the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country by No. 2 AT&T would reduce competition and raise prices.”
AT&T, however, retains the right to challenge the Justice Department in court.
Just days after the proposed merger was revealed last spring, an anonymous official at the Federal Communications Commission said that he was “pessimistic” about the chances of AT&T convincing federal regulators to sanction its planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA.
It now looks as though a heated showdown between Uncle Sam and AT&T is on the horizon.