For the past week, AT&T has been fighting for its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, which the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have both moved to oppose. Rumors of the latest development in this matter point to AT&T possibly divesting some assets to Leap Wireless International to keep the merger alive, according to Reuters.
The news source reports that neither AT&T nor Leap Wireless has commented officially on these speculations. Nonetheless, unidentified sources allegedly involved in the negotiations claim that AT&T plans to sell enough of its assets to make Leap the fourth-place U.S. wireless service provider, presumably so a merged AT&T and T-Mobile USA would not look like as much of a monopoly in the smartphone and smartphone accessories industry to regulators.
Interestingly, rumors of this supposed divestment come shortly after the November 24 announcement that AT&T planned to withdraw its merger application from the FCC. That move stemmed from the agency's demand for a review of the deal by an administrative law judge.
According to Bloomberg, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski called top executives at AT&T and T-Mobile USA's owner Deutsche Telekom AG to notify them of his demand for judicial review of the merger. AT&T also announced that it would sue the FCC if the governing body refused to permit withdrawal of the $39 million deal.