August has certainly been one of the craziest months on record for the telecom industry. The month went out with a bang; the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit attempting to kill the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.
In the chaos yesterday, both AT&T and Sprint issued official responses to the filing, but Deutsche Telekom was notably absent. We knew they wouldn’t remain silent for long, and late yesterday evening, the company issued the following statement.
On August 31, 2011, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) informed Deutsche Telekom that it will file a complaint in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a permanent injunction blocking the proposed stock purchase agreement between AT&T and Deutsche Telekom under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom.
Deutsche Telekom is very disappointed by the DOJ's action and will join AT&T in defending the contemplated merger against the complaint in court. DOJ failed to acknowledge the robust competition in the US wireless telecommunications industry and the tremendous efficiencies associated with the proposed transaction, which would lead to significant customer, shareholder and public benefits. We appreciate the DOJ's willingness to discuss possible remedies to address the competitive concerns.Philipp SchinderaDeutsche Telekom
The main argument presented by Deutsche Telekom is that the DOJ failed to recognize the “tremendous efficiencies” that would certainly come from a merged AT&T-mobile. Additionally, Deutsche Telekom added that it was willing to discuss the competition issues that naturally arise from any merger/acquisition, and appreciates the DOJ’s willingness to discuss the issues.
Whether you buy into these arguments or not, they are certain to be a focal point when AT&T and T-Mobile square off against the Department of Justice in court. One thing’s for sure: AT&T and T-Mobile certainly aren’t going to back down, as both companies are dead set on making the merger a reality.
Speculation – What If the Deal Doesn’t Happen?
Whether or not the Department of Justice filing can successfully block the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom has made it painfully clear that they want out of the US telecom industry. Even the $3 billion cash infusion from AT&T will not likely be enough to save the beloved Magenta.
This strongly suggests that T-Mobile is going to be bought by someone, but who other than AT&T wants in on the action? Rather than rehash speculation that’s already been beaten to death by other blogs, I highly suggest you read Sascha Segan’s article in PCMag, which elaborates on why Sprint, Apple, Google, Cable Companies, America Movil, Wind Mobile and T-Mobile’s own investors might be interested in purchasing T-Mobile USA.
Who do you guys want to buy T-Mobile USA if the proposed deal with AT&T falls through? Sound off in the comments.