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Mergers & acquisitions

How Much Will AT&T Divest for T-Mobile?

4:05 PM -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) recognizes it will have to divest some of its assets in order to see its acquisition of T-Mobile US Inc. approved, but after Wednesday's Congressional hearing it's likely fretting about just how much it will have to shed. (See AT&T Takes the Oath on T-Mobile Merger.)

Regulators spent most of the hearing poking holes in all of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's claims that the merger is pro-consumer, pro-competition and beneficial to the economy as a whole. It may have been all a dog and pony show, but the growing level of resistance leads me to believe the company will have to divest a substantial part of its subscriber base, cellular towers, spectrum or even other parts of T-Mobile's business in some markets. (See AT&T Could Drop 40% of T-Mobile.)

The same thing happened to Verizon Wireless when it had to forfeit billions in assets to acquire Alltel Corp. (NYSE: AT), but this deal is bigger.

But what -- and how much -- exactly will AT&T part with? That seems to be getting worked out behind closed doors as neither the regulators nor the carriers in attendance at the hearing offered up suggestions.

This was only one of many planned hearings, and the U.S. Department of Justice makes the final call, so we have some time to figure out the give-and-take.

In the meantime, what do you want to see AT&T divest in order to acquire T-Mobile? Is there anything the carrier should do to soften the blow to its competitors? Let us know in the comments section below.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

jayja 12/5/2012 | 5:05:23 PM
re: How Much Will AT&T Divest for T-Mobile? How about a couple of Radall's jets? Tix to a Cowboys game in Randall's box?
JasonS 12/5/2012 | 5:05:22 PM
re: How Much Will AT&T Divest for T-Mobile?

If approved, regulators should insist on operational/functional separation similar to what was required in New Zealand.

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