AT&T will lose $6 billion if T-Mobile acquisition fails

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AT&T says it is still on track to have its acquisition of T-Mobile approved by March 2012. Resistance to the merger has been growing in recent weeks, but the company insists everything is going smoothly. AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said the company has provided a second round of information requested by the Justice Department and that meetings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are also going as scheduled.

"The number one question I get from investors is can we get (the deal) done," Watt recently told reporters according to The Washington Post. "I think we can." Watts also said that the regulators' review of the deal thus far had been thorough, fact-based, and "exactly as we expected."

AT&T has reportedly promised to give Deutsche Telekom $6 billion in assets, services, and cash as a break-up fee if US regulators reject the deal. The $6 billion would include $3 billion of cash, about $2 billion worth of spectrum, and a roaming agreement valued at $1 billion.

Three months ago, AT&T announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately $39 billion. The acquisition of T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the US, would enable AT&T, currently the second largest US mobile service, to leapfrog the leader of the US market, Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group.

Furthermore, AT&T and Verizon Wireless would hold 79 percent of the US market if regulators approved the deal, leaving Sprint Nextel as an even weaker number three player in the US. Unsurprisingly, Sprint is doing everything in its power to appeal the huge deal.

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