Report: Justice Department extends review of AT&T/T-Mobile deal

The Department of Justice has extended its review of AT&T's (NYSE:T) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA via new requests for information, a move that could allow antitrust regulators to extend the review indefinitely, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said antitrust authorities at the Justice Department have sent so-called civil investigative demands to wireless competitors of the two carriers. The requests for information, which are similar to subpoenas issued in court proceedings, ask for information about how the deal might affect the competitors' businesses, the report said.

Representatives from AT&T, T-Mobile and the Justice Department declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

Analysts have said the antitrust review, which began last month, could take more than a year to complete. Concurrent with the antitrust review, the FCC also is assessing the deal for how it will affect the wireless industry. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) has vowed to lobby against the deal and Congress is expected to hold hearings on the proposed tie-up later this year.

Last month, AT&T filed its paperwork at the FCC to formally request a transfer of spectrum licenses from T-Mobile. In the filing, which essentially argues why AT&T and T-Mobile believe the proposed acquisition is in the public interest, AT&T touted many of the benefits it has noted before, including that the deal will bring increased spectral efficiencies, fewer dropped calls and better service, as well as expand the availability of LTE.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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