Germany’s government fears damning FCC criticism of Deutsche Telekom’s plan to sell T-Mobile USA to AT&T will scupper the deal, despite both operators insisting the sale remains on track.
The government claims Germany’s former incumbent wasn’t clearly informed of the potential risks of the $39 billion (€28.9 billion) deal when it agreed to sell its US business to AT&T. German officials told FT.com they believe the sale is doomed to failure, or will at least require sweeping concessions by Deutsche Telekom and AT&T to gain approval.
Germany’s government is the largest stakeholder in Deutsche Telekom, with a 32% holding. Its fears for the deal have increased since US regulator FCC claimed the transaction would severely impact competition in the US in a damning assessment late November.
That review prompted AT&T and Deutsche Telekom to pull their merger applications from the FCC, to focus on a separate objection raised by the US Department of Justice. However, both firms insist they are still pursuing the sale.
AT&T has since hit back at the FCC’s report claiming the regulator refers only to facts that back up its claims and speculates where no evidence is available.