ATT Inc. said yesterday that after a thorough review of options it has agreed with Deutsche Telekom AG to end its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA, which began in March of this year.
Although ATT claimed that the acquisition would have been beneficial to both customers and the wireless industry in general, the proposal was met with fierce opposition from the US Department of Justice, Sprint, and others.
"ATT will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. "Over the past four years we have invested more in our networks than any other U.S. company. As a result, today we deliver best-in-class mobile broadband speeds - connecting smartphones, tablets and emerging devices at a record pace – and we are well under way with our nationwide 4G LTE deployment.
"To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest," Stephenson said. "However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation's longer-term spectrum needs."
To reflect the break-up considerations due Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will recognize a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion in the 4th quarter of 2011, representing the "penalty clause" that AT&T will have to pay to T-Mobile. Additionally, AT&T will enter a mutually beneficial roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom.