AT&T May Avoid $6 Billion Payment to T-Mobile if Deal Fails


This gets more interesting as each week passes by. After the Department of Justice sought to block the sale of T-Mobile to AT&T last week, a new wrinkle has been thrown into the fold – T-Mobile may not be eligible for the $6 billion they’re owed if the deal doesn’t go through under certain circumstances.

A report from a Reuters source mentions scenarios where AT&T may be able to get off free should the sale go unapproved. One scenario would be if a certain amount of time passes without a decision from the FCC. If the FCC approves it after whatever deadline this is – great (for AT&T)! If they block the sale after this date, though, AT&T could get out of that $6 billion hole.

Another scenario would be due to devaluation of T-Mobile. A devaluation would happen if AT&T were asked to sell off parts of T-Mobile in order to meet regulators’ satisfactions. If AT&T is forced to sell however much they would be forced to sell (if that scenario were to play out) they could choose to back out of the deal and keep their $6 billion.

With analysts saying AT&T very well may need to compromise and give up some of what they’re buying, Deutsche Telekom has mentioned that they have drawn up several plans to carve out assets without devaluing T-Mobile USA.

While no official has decided that this would be a requirement in order for the deal to go through, the chances of that happening are high enough to raise concerns for both parties involved. With that, it looks like only time will get in the way of T-Mobile’s future either way.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I’m not surprised, given the track records of these douche-bags at AT&T.
    Let’s hope our government still has an ounce of dignity to stop this merger.

    1. …And quickly. I’d really like to see T-mo stay separate and get the cash infusion. Please FCC, just do what everyone except AT&T wants: Avoid Ma Bell 2.0

      1. Unfortunately, TMoUSA won’t be getting that cash. That money will go to DT, the owner and seller of TMoUSA.

    2. I doubt it is going to fall through.

      There has been a trend of “fix it first” on mergers recently. Most thought that this one was going to go through the same way until the DOJ steped in. Even now though it still seems like what they’re really going for is a “fix it first” approach, just with the dog and pony show of DOJ stepping in, after all every year is an election year…

  2. Corporate contracts ain’t nothin’ but hoes and tricks

  3. Whatever needs to happen to stop this merger and for T-Mobile to get their money and spectrum from AT&T should happen. T-Mobile have lost many customers due to this potential buy out, customers are leaving because they do not know what is in the future and more important they don’t want to be part of AT&T. This potential buy out has hurt T-Mobile big time. They should at least be allowed to get what is owed to them, their money and spectrum from AT&T. With that T-Mobile can go forward. They have a great HSPA+ Network, better then any other carrier IMO.

  4. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I expect that the FTC has zero interest in seeing AT&T pay a multi-billion dollar penalty and will behave accordingly. Even this administration is unlikely to find an up-side to transferring $6 billion from the United States to Europe.

  5. So they transfer $39 Billion instead

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