A report in the Wall Street Journal suggests AT&T and T-Mobile are discussing a contingency plan if their proposed merger is not approved. Instead of merging, the two companies could form a joint venture which would let them operate separately, but still share critical resources. This arrangement would let both companies build out their 4G network without worrying about government regulation.
As it stands, the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is on the verge of collapse. The two companies will battle the DOJ in court next year and argue in favor of the merger. If they succeed in court, they face the opposition of the FCC, which recently released a scathing report claiming the merger would lessen competition and harm customers.
AT&T isnt calling it quits just yet as the carrier stands to lose $4 billion if it fails to close on the deal. This joint venture is a last-ditch effort and AT&T is still tossing around ideas to keep the merger alive. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal claimed AT&T may divest a large part of T-Mobile to gain approval and is eyeing Leap Wireless as a possible buyer of these assets. The wireless carrier may also propose price freezes to appease regulators who worry about the merger’s effect on consumers.