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Does the AT&T/T-Mobile deal have a chance?
Many are already writing not-so-fond eulogies for the $39 billion telecom deal, but AT&T isn't giving up just yet
AT&T President Randall Stephenson during the T-Mobile acquisition announcement, March 2011: The deal was blocked by the Feds, but AT&T says it will fight.
AT&T President Randall Stephenson during the T-Mobile acquisition announcement, March 2011: The deal was blocked by the Feds, but AT&T says it will fight.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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n Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent shock waves through the business world when it filed suit to block the $39 billion AT&T/T-Mobile merger. While AT&T has said it will fight the matter in court, many have been quick to declare the deal dead (and dance on its grave). Does it stand any chance of still succeeding?

Nope: The deal is "all but definitively dead," says analyst Craig Moffett at Broadcasting & Cable. Not only has the DOJ filed suit, but the Federal Communications Commission has implied that it also has issues with the merger. The feds are intent on "preserving a price competitor to the larger carriers," and it's not likely that they will let T-Mobile cut a deal with AT&T — or Sprint, for that matter.
"Bernstein Research: AT&T–T-Mobile deal as good as dead"

But AT&T isn't going to give up easily: Don't prepare the burial plot just yet, says Jeffrey Silva of Medley Global Advisors, as quoted in The Washington Post. AT&T has said it will put up a good fight, and given "the government's mixed record in merger litigation, the political sensitivities associated with the deal in advance of the 2012 presidential-election year, and the curious earlier-than-expected action by [the] DOJ," there's a good chance that a compromise will be reached down the road. Some kind of settlement or consent decree could be forthcoming.
"AT&T will likely fight DOJ to the end, analysts say"

The deal will eventually go through: "The deal is still going to get done," says antitrust lawyer David Kaufman, as quoted at CNN. Sure, the Obama administration is trying to show its mettle here, but ultimately "AT&T has too much at stake to let this fall through."
"AT&T and T-Mobile: Is the deal dead? No one knows"

Who knows? This is "uncharted territory," says David Goldman at CNN. Lawsuits like the one the DOJ filed against AT&T are quite rare — such an action has happened in just 0.3 percent of the mergers in the last two decades — and this is the first instance since Obama issued new merger guidelines which stipulate that a deal's impact on rivals be considered. While companies typically give up at this point, for those that do go to court with the DOJ, the odds are even.
"AT&T and T-Mobile: Is the deal dead? No one knows"

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