DOJ questions whether AT&T/T-Mobile deal is still alive

The Department of Justice questioned whether AT&T's (NYSE:T) decision to withdraw its FCC application to purchase T-Mobile USA meant that the deal was no longer valid. The Justice Department said the withdrawal of the application at the FCC signaled an intent to "abandon the transaction altogether" or to submit a new, substantially changed application. However, Richard Levie, the Special Master overseeing the DOJ's antitrust lawsuit against the deal, dismissed the Justice Department's claims. "The FCC-related activities have not ... altered the status of this litigation," Levie wrote in an order. "Although FCC approval is necessary for the proposed merger, so, too, is a favorable ruling from the federal court in this case. As there is no requirement of which the Special Master is aware that one approval must come before the other, the federal court case remains on track." The DOJ trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 13. Article