After being opposed by everyone from competitors, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, AT&T has ended its bid to acquire T-Mobile.
In a release issued Monday afternoon, AT&T maintained its position that the acquisition would have been good for consumers, saying that increased demand for bandwidth will only increase and that the deal would have offered an “interim solution.” The end of the deal means “customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled,” according to the release.
“AT&T will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, in a statement. “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.”
AT&T and T-Mobile announced the deal, valued at $39 billion, back in March. And even at the time, many had put its chances at a long-shot given the legal and regulatory approvals that would have been necessary for its completion. “We have never seen a deal with more regulatory risk be attempted in the U.S.,” wrote Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin in a research note at the time of the deal’s announcement.