The Thanksgiving surprise is a reaction to the FCC's confirmation Tuesday that it will hold an administrative meeting on the proposed merger.
AT&T and DT say -- in a statement -- that they are continuing to pursue the sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T "and are taking this step to facilitate the consideration of all options at the FCC and to focus their continuing efforts on obtaining antitrust clearance for the transaction from the Department of Justice" through the pending litigation or other means.
"As soon as practical, AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG intend to seek the necessary FCC approval," the statement says.
As a result, AT&T expects to recognize a pre-tax accounting charge of US$4 billion -- $3 billion cash and $1 billion book value of spectrum -- in the fourth quarter of 2011 to reflect the potential break up fees due to Deutsche Telekom in the event that the transaction does not receive regulatory approval.
Why this matters The withdrawal of FCC approvals will add months to the acquisition process at the very least. All-in-all, the prospects for the $39 billion buyout are looking bleaker as we head deeper into the winter.
For more See all the latest wranglings in the AT&T/T-Mobile case below and read all our coverage here:
- FCC Requests Hearing on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger
- Sprint Files to Block AT&T/T-Mob Too
- AT&T & T-Mobile: Sprint Sues, DT Confirms $3B Fee
- Govt Blocks AT&T/T-Mobile Deal
- Deputy AG: Merger Meant Higher Prices
- FCC Comments on AT&T, T-Mobile Merger
- Analyst: DoJ Suit Bad for All Carriers
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile