AT&T on Thursday said it would take a $4 billion charge in case its takeover of T-Mobile USA fails, a tacit recognition of the dwindling chances that the deal will get through US regulators who said it would destroy jobs and curb competition.
The US telecommunications group and T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, said they would continue to pursue anti-trust approval for the $39 billion takeover from the US department of justice (DOJ), but withdrew applications to the industry regulator, for now.
“AT&T Inc and Deutsche Telekom AG are continuing to pursue the sale of Deutsche Telekom's US wireless assets to AT&T,” they said.
The $4 billion sum includes $3 billion in cash and a book value of $1 billion for spectrum access.
Both the DOJ and telecoms watchdog the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oppose the deal, which would reduce the number of national mobile carriers to three.
“The record clearly shows that — in no uncertain terms - this merger would result in a massive loss of US jobs and investment,” said a FCC official.
Withdrawal of the application is subject to approval by the FCC, which has the right to determine whether and how the companies could resubmit an amended application in the future.