U.S. moves to block AT&T, T-Mobile deal

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty Source: Reuters (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday fired a legal broadside to block AT&T Inc's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, launching its biggest challenge yet to a takeover and dealing the carrier a potentially costly blow. AT&T plans to fight the government's decision in court and analysts say it might have to make big concessions – including selling major assets – to mollify regulators. Shares in the No. 2 U.S. carrier behind Verizon Wireless fell as much as 5.4 percent. If the deal falls through, it may have to pay a break-up fee and benefits, such as spectrum grants, worth an estimated $6 billion. The Justice Department in a lawsuit filed in federal court said eliminating T-Mobile as a competitor would be disastrous for consumers and would raise prices, particularly because the smaller provider is considered a pioneer in low-cost service plans. [more]

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