AT&T eager to go to court

Posted by Mark Raby

AT&T has no interest in settling with the US Department of Justice.

Instead, the carrier plans to trudge through the long and drawn-out trial that is destined to happen.

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the mobile company for violating antitrust laws in its acquisition agreement with T-Mobile.

AT&T was in court this week for very preliminary hearings on the matter, but said nothing of wanting to strike a settlement with the department.

With Sprint, Verizon, and several minor carriers also in the mobile space, it may seem weird to have concerns of AT&T and T-Mobile creating a monopoly, but because they are the only two major carriers that operate on the GSM mobile spectrum, there are serious concerns.

Having the DOJ sue AT&T does not bode well for the carrier's chance of getting approval for the T-Mobile buyout. After all, it is the government that needs to sign off on the deal. It looks like it will be up to the hands of the justice system as to whether or not the purchase will be blocked.

"We’re seeking a prompt trial because we’re very interested in closing this transaction. We need to have the cloud of uncertainty removed. We’re already a month beyond where we want to be," said acting AT&T attorney Mark Hansen.

AT&T has a lot to lose if the acquisition falls through. Although it will not have to pay the $39 billion to buy T-Mobile, it has contractually agreed to dole out a huge wad of cash as a means of payment for wasting T-Mobile's time.

But that doesn't mean T-Mobile wants the deal to fail. That carrier has publicly stated it won't know what to do if AT&T's buyout transaction ends up being blocked.