The judge presiding over the AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger case with the U.S. Department of Justice allowed the trial to be delayed indefinitely, Bloomberg reported.
AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, asked Judge Ellen Huvelle of the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. Monday to delay the trial with the U.S. Department of Justice over the proposed $39 billion merger.
AT&T said in the filing it would give a report on Jan. 12 describing the status of their proposed transaction, including discussion of whether they intend to proceed with the transaction at issue in this litigation, whether they intend to proceed with another transaction, the status of any related proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission, and their anticipated plans and timetable for seeking any necessary approval from the Federal Communications Commission, according to Bloomberg.
At a trial hearing last week, the U.S. Department of Justice said it would file a motion to either delay or end the case since AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew its application for merger with the Federal Communications Commission. The companies withdrew the application since the FCC, which must approve the merger, slammed the companies' arguments supporting the deal.
AT&T argued it needed to begin the case as soon as possible so if AT&T and Deutsche Telekom won the case, they could use the results to convince the FCC the deal was in the public interest.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in August against the two companies arguing that the deal would lead to higher prices for consumers and weaker service. The formal trial was scheduled to begin Feb. 13, but likely will be pushed back because of the delay.
Shares of AT&T are down 0.14 percent to 28.99 at mid-afternoon trading.