It was looking unlikely last month when Julius Genachowski, the FCC Chairman, said that the merger did not meet the commission’s standards for approval and now the deal is dead - AT&T has confirmed that its T-Mobile acquisition is a non-runner.
In a statement the telecoms giant lamented the actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block the takeover and stated the decision could have wider implications for the mobile industry.
"The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage," it said. "In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled."
Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO said: "AT&T will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution. Over the past four years we have invested more in our networks than any other U.S. company.
"To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest. However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs."
The fallen deal will also cost AT&T $4 billion in fees payable to T-Mobile. It is getting "a mutually beneficial roaming agreement" out of it though. A bargain.
Announced back in March 2011, experts have always said that getting approval for the $39bn deal would be difficult. A completed deal would have created America’s largest mobile network with almost 130 million customers covering 95 per cent of the US population.
Also, it could have meant the awesome moniker, AT&T-Mobile....