Dallas - AT&T and Deutsche Telekom have dropped plans for AT&T to acquire Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile network in the U.S.
AT&T will recognize a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion in the fourth quarter to reflect a break-up fee of $3 billion plus $1 billion in AT&T spectrum. AT&T also said it will enter a mutually beneficial roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom.
The merger "would have offered an interim solution to [the country's wireless] spectrum shortage," AT&T contended in a written statement. "In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled."
"To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest [in the AT&T network]," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman/CEO. "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."