Things aren’t looking good for AT&T and T-Mobile and their hopes for AT&T buying T-Mobile. The scrutiny that regulators in the US have placed on the deal has the chances of the merger happening not looking good at all. One of the last things that AT&T can try to keep the feds from killing the deal and costing AT&T a $4 billion breakup fee is sell off some assets.
The FCC application that had been filed for the merger was pulled by the two firms. The withdrawal is seen as a tactical move for now rather than a defeat. The pulling of the FCC app will allow the two firms to focus on the antitrust trial that is set to start in February to see if the merged firms would cause harm to the industry as a whole.
According to analysts cited by the NYT is the two wireless carries want any chance at the deal being approved they will need to scale back their plans. AT&T would need to plan to sell as much as 40% of T-Mobile assets according to some analysts. The sale would also need to be made to small firms like Sprint or Metro PCS, not Verizon.